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Population Transfers in Asia 



. \ 

New York 






Printed in the United States of America 



JTNTIL very recently students of international affairs thought of 
^ minority problems as an exclusively European matter. They sel- 
dom gave due consideration to the fact that in Asiatic countries, too, 
there are many complicated minority questions, some of them of so ex- 
plosive a nature that they threaten world peace no less than the most 
acute minority problems of Europe. 

The author has made an exhaustive study of the transfer and 
exchange of European minorities during and after World War II. 
Against that background he attempts in this work to analyze a number 
of Asiatic minority problems which, he has become fully convinced, 
can be solved only by transfer and/or exchange of population. 

A few particularly characteristic and instructive instances have been 
selected for study. The first is the Hindu-Moslem conflict which found 
expression in the huge, epochal, unorganized exchange of population 
between the newborn Dominions of Pakistan and India. The second 
concerns Middle East Christians particularly: the repatriation of scat- 
tered Armenian minorities to Soviet Armenia and the desperate plight 
of the remnant of the ancient Assyrians. A special chapter is devoted 
to the plan of Arab-Jewish exchange of population, which, in the 
author's opinion, offers great promise for the peaceful development of 
Palestine and the entire Middle East. 

The scope and character of this study have been greatly influenced 
by the fact that it is a pioneer in its field. Because of the very recent 
or contemporary character of most of the events dealt with here, the 
author has had to rely largely on newspaper reports. He has made 
every effort to use this raw and often contradictory material in the 
most cautious and critical way, in order to piece together a cogent 
description of the transfers that have occurred and to present a thor- 
ough discussion of the problems involved. 

&arcb, 1949 Joseph B. Schechtman 




§ 80826 

To My Wife and Collaborator 


I The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population x 

II Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 

Repatriation of Armenians to Soviet Armenia 51 

The Abortive Assyrian Transfer 70 

III The Case for Arab-Jewish Transfer of Population 8 4 

Bibliography H2 


Movements of Refugees from and to India and 
Pakistan facing l 

Distribution of Palestine Arab Refugees in Neighbor- 
ing Arab Countries ; facing nQ 



White arrow* indicate movement from India to Paltirfan; black arrow*, movemant 
from PaVittan to India. 



THE 389,000,000 inhabitants of the Indian sub-continent speak 
325 recognizable languages, fifteen of them used for official 
purposes, and many more dialects. In addition to being divided 
by tribe, nation, caste, and race, they are split into several warring 
religions and sects, including Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, Sikhs, 
Christians, and Jains. They are separated into a number of 
distincdy hostile groups, for whom not their country but their 
religious community is the basis of nationality. "For that reason," 
says James C. De Wilde who has had twenty-five years of exper- 
ience in the Far East, "one will look in vain for an 'Indian'. That 
type, as we in the West fancy him, does not exist; one will only 
find Hindus, Moslems, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc." 1 

All these communities are, of course, bound together by long 
centuries of common existence. Their conflicts are not fought on 
racial grounds: Bengali Muslims and Hindus have far more in 
common with each other than the former have with the Pathans 
or the latter with the Tamils. But there also are deep-rooted 
differences in ancestral origin, since some Indian communities are 
descended from the aboriginal inhabitants of the land, and others 
from the Aryan conquerors who came from various countries. 
The Moslems can never forget that they once ruled India as 
alien conquerors. Although many Indian Moslems today are 
descendants of Hindu • converts to Islam, 3 the great majority 
identify themselves with the Moslems who entered India in suc- 
cessive waves of invasion from the eighth century of our era 
onwards. Their thoughts constantly turn back to the great period 
of their rule, the Mogul Empire of Babur and his successors, the 

2 Population Transfers in Asia 

greatest of whom was Akbar, a contemporary of the English 
Queen Elizabeth. Conversely, the Hindus have not forgotten that 
they were forced, over a long period of time, to act as the hewers 
of wood and drawers of water for the conquerors. 

In America and in Europe the terms "Hindu", "Moslem", and 
"Sikh" are used as merely designating religious groups. Technically 
that is correct. But in India those terms are understood and used 
differently. The word "religious" seldom appears in Indian news- 
paper headlines in connection with group conflicts. Indians refer 
to these group differences as "communal." Religious sects or 
groups are called "communities." That is closer to the real truth. 
It is the things that are held or done in common that identify 
and distinguish each group. Religion in India is not just a faith. 
It is a way of life, sufficiently differentiated from other ways of 
life to provide complete self-identification within each group. 3 
There is a deep gulf between the Moslem religion and mode of 
life and that of the Hindus. Their notions of social, political and 
even economic affairs are deeply divergent. Mohammed Ali Jinnah 
once defined the essential difference between his people and the 
Hindus as follows: "They worship cow. I eat cow. I defile a 
Hindu if my shadow falls across him. A Hindu would not 
take water from my hand. We are utterly different." 4 The Sikh 
way of life, too, with its denial of caste, that very essence of the 
Hindu way of life, sets barriers between them and the majority 
community. But between Sikhs and Moslems, also, there are long 
generations of conflict. For it was under the hammer blows of 
Moslem pressure in the Punjab that the Sikhs were forced into 
religious and military cohesiveness. 

There is also a basic economic difference between the 22 per 
cent of the Indian people who are Moslems and the 68 per cent 
who are Hindus. The bulk of the Moslems in India are poor 
agriculturists. It was chiefly the poorest Hindus who became 
converted to Islam. As a result, Moslems have been less advanced 
than Hindus educationally and politically. They have found it 

The Hindu;Moslem Exchange of Population 3 

difficult to compete with Hindus in commerce and, when there 
was open competition, in obtaining official posts. Thus they have 
suffered from a dual frustration, caused by the Hindus as well 
as the British. While the Moslems are for the most part farmers 
and producers, the Hindus are the middlemen who get the 
produce to market. The Moslems have become increasingly con- 
scious of their economic inferiority; they cite countless examples 
in which Moslems have been "driven to the wall" by unfair 
Hindu business practices. In a study, Pakistan and Moslem India, 
published in Bombay in 1943 with a foreword by M. A. Jinnah, 
the Moslem author complains that "there are certain occupations 
(shop-keeping, the grain and cloth markets, money-lending) 
entirely reserved for Hindus and the Moslems have been com- 
pletely shut out of them . . . even in the purely Moslem areas. . . . 
The Hindu middle class is prosperous and flourishing, and con- 
trols the internal and external trade of the country. . . . The 
Moslem middle class in cities has no choice left except to work as 
laborers or to seek petty jobs in Government service. ... The 
Moslems cannot look upon this state of affairs as a fait accompli. 
Nor can they accept forever the condition of being a debtor 
community." (p. 4)° 

Inter-communal tension increased noticeably with the prepara- 
tions for British withdrawal from India. When offering dominion 
status to the whole of India, the British Government on March 
29, 1942 made a special proviso that the future Indian Constitu- 
tional Convention conclude a treaty with Great Britain "for the 
protection of racial and religious minorities." However, this 
British scheme for protection of racial and religious minorities 
in all of India, to be guaranteed by a treaty with Great Britain, 
has never materialized. Mohammed Jinnah's campaign for a 
separate Moslem state of Pakistan achieved its goal, but it also 
intensified and brought to a climax the mutual distrust and fear 
among Moslems, Hindus and Sikhs, in particular in those areas 
where the communities were fairly evenly balanced and one or more 

4 Population Transfers in Asia 

of them dreaded becoming a minority after the partition of India. 

Each of these potential minorities felt uneasy and depressed at the 
J thought of being left to the mercies of the surrounding majority. 

| Embattled Pakistan was looked upon as a promised land by Mos- 

'.' lems who felt themselves hopelessly submerged among the over- 

| whelming Hindu-Sikh population of the Dominion of India. Simi- 

j larly, a "minority complex" developed among the 19,000,000 Hindus 

I and Sikhs in Pakistan who began to realize that in that fiercely 

j nationalistic Moslem dominion they might degenerate into second 

i class citizens. To each of these acutely self-conscious minority 

groups their respective co-racial dominions on the other side of the 
border became a kind of sanctuary. 

Aversion to minority status seems to have been particularly strong 
among the Moslem community. They pointed to their experience 
in the United Provinces in 1937-39, as evidence of the fact that 
where they have been obliged to live under a Hindu majority their 
rights have been ignored. Choudharry Rahmat All, founder and 
president of the Pakistan national movement, wrote in connection 
with this question: 7 

What is the fundamental truth about minorities? It is -that 
there are times when minorities are the heralds of their orig- 
inal nations, and others when they are the symbols of their 
helplessness. Again, there are times when nations can fully 
assimilate minorities and others, when minorities can fatally 
sabotage such nations. Finally, there are times when to leave 
minorities in foreign lands, or to keep alien minorities in your 
own lands, is a sound policy, and others, when to do either, 
is childish folly: also when to do neither is saving statesman- 
ship, but when to do both is sure suicide. It is the last con- 
tingency which concerns us in the current phase of our life and 
calls upon us to remember that, in the past, "minorityism" has 
ever proved itself a major enemy of our Millat, that at present 
it is sabotaging us religiously, culturally, and politically even 
in our national lands , , . 
To leave our minorities in Hindu lands is ... to forget the 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 5 

tragic fate that overwhelmed our minorities which — in more 

favorable times and with better guarantees than now possible — 

we left in Sicily, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Austria, and 

Hungary. Where are they now? To ask that question is to 

answer it in the most poignant terms. 

Leaders in both Dominions have honestly tried to eliminate this 

tense and dangerous minority complex. On Independence Day 

(August 15, 1947) they eloquently reiterated their guarantee to 

minorities. "There is no doubt of the leaders' sincerity," Robert 

Trumbull cabled the New Yor\ Times from New Delhi on August 

i6th, "but the question whether Hindus and Moslems can live 

amicably side by side remains to be answered by events." The 

answer was given quickly. One month later Trumbull reported: 

"The leaders of both new nations urged these minorities to stay 

where they were and guaranteed protection. These leaders were 

simply not in a position to make such guarantees on behalf of 

the ignorant fanatical masses. Events proved that these assurances 

were worthless." 8 

Trouble started in the strategic province of Punjab. Moslems 
were a majority - 57 per cent of its total population of 28,418,000 - 
and the Moslem League was determined to win the whole of this 
rich, food-producing province for Pakistan. This plan was violemly 
opposed by the over four million Sikhs (the total number of 
Sikhs in India is 5,691,000) and by the Hindus. While forming 
less than 30 per cent of the Punjab population, the Hindus domin- 
ated industry, commerce, banking, and the professions in the prov- 
ince and feared that if It went to Pakistan, discriminatory legisla- 
tion would very soon drive them out of business. 

The Hindu Congress demanded the division of the Punjab on 
ethnic lines as a pre-condition to the cession of Pakistan. This 
stand was finally accepted by the Moslems and the British. For the 

6 Population Transfers in Asia 

Hindu position was logically unassailable. I£ a Moslem minority 
could not with any confidence accept its position in a Hindu- 
majority federative state, a Hindu or Sikh minority could not with 
any confidence accept a position in a Moslem-majority unit. It was 
thus reluctantly agreed that the Hindu and Sikh majority districts 
in the Punjab and Bengal provinces would be attached to the 
Hindu, and not to the Moslem, dominion. 

But having agreed on the principle, boundary commissions re- 
presenting each side found it impossible to draw satisfactory or 
even tolerable frontier lines between the two dominions. In point 
of fact, no doubt seemed to exist on the basis for the division: it 
was simply a matter of consulting the census of 1941. But the com- 
munal representatives seemed unable to reach any compromise. 
The Hindu Congress and the Sikhs demanded a demarcation line 
which would have left some 9,500,000 Moslems (41.8 per cent of 
the entire Moslem population) in Indian East Punjab; the Moslem 
line would have left 6,725,000 non-Moslems (or 55 per cent of the 
total non-Moslem population of the Punjab) in West Punjab, where 
they then constituted 31.6 per cent of the province's population. 
I At the end, the decision was left to Sir Cyril Radcliffe, the British 

] chairman of the mixed commission, who drew his own line. This 

r! line reduced the minorities on either side to what is probably the 

j minimum possible: some 27 per cent of the former Moslem popula- 

] - ■ tion of the Punjab was left to the east, and 32.5 per cent of the 

j non-Moslems to the west, in each case about 4,000,000 people* 

] This demarcation line provoked violent criticism. Hindus, Sikhs, 

] and Moslems alike objected strenuously to Sir Cyril's refusal to 

j be guided solely by communal groupings in certain instances where 

j other practical considerations were also highly important. As a re- 

] suit, numerous local communal majorities were converted into 

minorities overnight. Sir Cyril's own report maintained that con- 
siderations of administrative efficiency made these decisions inevit- 
\ able. He pointed out that 'legitimate criticism" would follow, 

1 whichever way he ruled. 10 


The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 7 

In this he was undoubtedly right. For in India, as well as in 
Europe, no matter where boundaries were drawn, there would be 
large population islands left in a community and under a govern- 
ment they regarded as alien and hostile. No sharp geographical 
line corresponds to a rigid communal line. In fact, there was not 
one district in Pakistan, not even in the North- West Frontier Prov- 
ince or Sind, without a Hindu minority, while in some districts 
that minority represented a considerable proportion of the total pop- 
ulation. Similarly, a good many areas with a large Moslem popu- 
lation were left on the Hindu side of the frontier. The Sikhs 
fared worst of all: they were split in two. Hopelessly overshadowed 
by the two larger communities, the Sikhs were not overjoyed at 
the thought of being ruled by New Delhi, and they would have 
protested vociferously if they had been placed en bloc within the 
borders of Pakistan. But to be split into two helpless fragments, 
partitioned between two alien regimes, was both the most catas- 
trophic and the most humiliating thing that could have happened 
to them. 11 

Claims and counter-claims to Punjab areas were pressed so hotly 
that the fires of communal conflict were ignited several months be- 
fore partition was effected. Spurred by religious fanaticism, reckless 
political propaganda, fright and often economic frustration, Mos- 
lems, Sikhs, and Hindus fell upon each other with knives, swords, 
clubs, and the torch. 

The first wave of communal riots in the Punjab came when the 
Moslem League tried to seize power early in 1947. With the sup- 
port of the British governor, a provincial Cabinet had been scraped 
together from all the minorities; the League attempted to over- 
turn it and to shake trie strong police rule which had been im- 
posed. Gigantic demonstrations by League followers reached strata 
of the Moslem population which had never before participated in 
politics, and the Sikh leadership decided to stop the movement by 
a show of force. 12 In February 1947, Master Tara Singh, political 
leader of the Sikh community, proclaimed a civil war designed to 

8 Population Transfers in Asia 

keep Moslem rule out of the eastern Punjab and significantly add- 
ed: "But why should we stop there? We would try to drive 
them (the Moslems) out of the Punjab entirely." 13 The Moslems 
on their part took the offensive. In Lahore, commercial center of 
Punjab with a population of 671,000, Moslem goondas (thugs) be- 
gan to set fire to the business houses and residences of the 300,000 
strong Sikh and Hindu minority, justifying this as a way of estab- 
lishing the claims of the majority. "Destroy their houses," they 
said, "and with them their claims to Lahore on the basis of prop- 
erty." Retaliation on the Hindu side came from a nationalistic or- 
ganization called the Rashtriya Seva\ Singh, whose whispered reas- 
oning was, "Bomb the Moslems to death and wipe out their major- 
ity in Lahore." 1 * The Sikhs retaliated in nearby Amritsar, their 
holy city, and in hundreds of smaller settlements in predominantly 
Sikh area. Between March 3 and June 23 (when the Punjab Assem- 
bly voted on partition), 3,200 persons were killed in the province 
of Punjab and at least 100,000 Hindus and Sikhs evacuated the 
city of Lahore which "was completely at a standstill." Refugees 
streamed along the roads, and in spite of strongly worded appeals 
from Moslem League, Congress Party and Sikh leaders, rioting, 
bombing and arson continued unabated. The Hindus were the 
bomb throwers, while Moslems specialized in arson and stabbing. 16 
The partition of the province into West (Pakistan) and East 
(India) Punjab did not stop the bitter communal strife. Violence on 
one side begot revenge on the other. Old bloody accounts were 
revived and lavishly settled. "Talk to a Sikh," the correspondent 
of the London Times cabled on August 24 from Lahore, "and he 
will declare that this is retaliation for what the Moslems did to the 
Sikhs in Rawalpindi in March — which was retaliation for the 
Hindu massacres of Moslems in Bihar, which was retaliation for 
Noakali, which was retaliation for Calcutta. So it goes back, 
violence begetting violence." Mrs. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Chief 
Indian Delegate to the United Nations, apdy said that "when ele- 
mental passions infest vast masses of men, the cycle of attack and 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 9 

revenge is apt to spread with lightning rapidity." 19 

The communal fighting was attended by a fury never witnessed 
in all preceding conflicts and left cities and villages looking like 
battlefields. Neither side spared women and children from ghastly 
knifing, burning alive and crimes of lust. 

For millions of human beings within this vicious cycle of attack 
and revenge there was only one salvation: flight. The exodus 
began in the spring of 1947, and by July some 250,000 Hindus had 
fled to India from predominantly Moslem West Punjab. 17 Simul- 
taneously, it was "semi-officially" confirmed in Lahore that there 
had been a substantial flight of Hindu capital from that city since 
the beginning of the disturbances in the spring. Similar move- 
ments took place out of the Pakistan North West Frontier Province. 
The Delhi controller of rationing announced on June 24 that ap- 
proximately 75,000 refugees from all the disturbed areas had by 
that time reached the capital of the Delhi province. 18 

These first waves of refugees played a sinister and often fatal 
role in inflaming and spreading hatred and bloodshed between com- 
munities. "I think we can safely say that 75 per cent of what 
has happened in Delhi is the direct result of stories of refugees," 
declared Indian Premier Pandit Nehru at a news conference. 19 
This does not seem to have been an overstatement. Robert Trum- 
bull reported from New Delhi on September 7th: "These refu- 
gees, whose memories of recent horrors are stlil aflame, con- 
stitute the greatest menace to peace in Delhi. They consist of 
both Moslems and non-Moskms and their temper is kept constantly 
excited by stories of new outrages being brought to Delhi daily by 
evacuees from the Punjab. Thousands of them are armed and 
are eager to avenge themselves and their co-religionists. These new- 
comers nurse murder in their hearts against all Moslems as the 
result of atrocities against the Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan. The 

io Population Transfers in Asia 

Moslems are equally vengeful for what has happened on India's side 
of the Punjab border, particularly in the Sikh country." 20 The Delhi 
correspondent of the London Times described the refugees as "car- 
riers of infectious hysteria or mental derangement" which has beset 
India's communities. The incubation period, he said, is the time 
it takes a large number of refugees to move from one part of the 
country to another. 21 

If bloodshed and consequent mass flight only partly affected areas 
other than Punjab and a few other provinces, that is largely due 
to what Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the "strong man" of the Indian 
Government, ominously hinted at as the role minorities might pos- 
sibly play as hostages. On October 16, a dispatch to the New Yor^ 
Times stated: "It seems generally accepted that if there is trouble 
in Calcutta where the Hindus predominate, the reaction will be 
swift and severe in East Bengal, where millions of Hindus are 
'hostages to fortune' amidst an overwhelming Moslem majority". 
Referring to attacks on non-Moslem refugees in Pakistan, H. S. 
Suhrawardy, Moslem League leader and former Premier of Bengal, 
significantly said on October 28, 1947: "For the sake of the life and 
liberty and honor of the unfortunate Moslem minority in the In- 
dian Union, I beg the Moslems of West Punjab to see that such 
incidents are put a stop to at once." 22 

Members of minority groups who had escaped slaughter or attack 
but feared that their turn would soon come, took to the road. 
Early in October, Hindus started leaving the city of Dacca in East 
Bengal in which the Moslem majority was 70.8 per cent of the 
population and which has been described as Pakistan's "eastern 
capital." Dacca with a population of 213,000 witnessed serious com- 
munal disturbances in the autumn of 1946, but was relatively calm 
in 1947. Nevertheless, despite assurances by the East Bengal Gov- 
ernment, the exodus spread to almost the entire province, and by 
the middle of October Hindus were reported coming by train, boat 
and on foot to Hindu West Bengal. 23 Similar developments took 
place in Karachi, capital of the Dominion of Pakistan, with a popu- 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population n 

• lation of 359,000— 55 to 60 per cent of whom were Hindus, control- 
ling the lion's share of the city's commercial life. Karachi had long 
been relatively free from communal disturbances. None the less, 
in October about 3,000 Hindus were reported leaving the city every 
day, two-thirds of them on crowded little steamers bound for 
Okha and Bombay. 24 V. Viswanathan, Indian Deputy High Com- 
missioner to Karachi, said on October 11 that he could sell 60,000 
tickets to India if he had space. By the beginning of 1948, when 
bloody disorders broke out between the Moslem and Hindu popu- 
lations, about 100,000 Hindus had already left Karachi. 26 

In other parts of India, minority groups had to leave under pres- 
sure of threats or were "advised" to go. Sikh bands in East Pun- 
jab, after having attacked Moslem villages and killed many vil- 
lagers, drove other villagers away with the warning: "Go to your 
Pakistan! If you dare come back here, we'll kill you to the 
last child." 26 And in Qadian, holy town of the Moslem Ahmediya 
sect in the Indian East Punjab, the Sikhs offered not to molest the 
6,000 Moslems there resident, if only they left for Pakistan — in- 
deed, the Sikhs would even escort them safely to the Pakistan bor- 
der. 27 

Successive waves of survivors and of "voluntary" and compul- 
sory refugees flooded every highway, road and cowpath linking 
Pakistan with India. Every means of conveyance— from airplanes 
to ox-carts— was used to escape annihilation and reach safety. 

Trains were jammed with passengers riding on the roof and 
hanging from the sides. Special trains moving 1,000 a day in each 
direction between Lahore and Amritsar were reported on August 
21 by the Associated Press. But train travel proved to be both in- 
adequate and extremely hazardous. A military spokesman of the 
Indian Government revealed on September 24 in New Delhi that 
at least seven trains had been attacked in both East and West 
Punjab, with considerable casualties among the refugees. Two 
thousand Moslems were killed on September 22 when a Moslem 
refugee train from Delhi, carrying several thousand persons, was 

12 Population Transfers in Asia 

attacked near Amritsar, Sikh stronghold in East Punjab; only one 
hundred persons escaped uninjured. Two trains carrying Hindus 
and Sikhs to India were also assailed according to a Pakistan army 
communique. 28 There were also numerous cases in both India and 
Pakistan in which fleeing minority groups were hurled from mov- 
ing trains. The railroads, like the other roads, were lined with 

Andrew Roth witnessed the arrival of a train at the Casur station 
with a "grisly freight of dead and wounded Hindus and Sikhs who 
had been attacked by Moslems while fleeing to safety . . . the train 
reeked with the sickly-sweet smell of death, and flies buzzed around 
the bodies of men, women and children cut to pieces because they 
belonged to the wrong community. On the same day the crack 
Punjab mail arrived in Lahore from Delhi with some four hundred 
dead passengers." 29 On August 25, the authorities officially declared 
that rail travel was unsafe in the Punjab. So many trains were 
halted by politico-religious fanatics that several rail services operat- 
ing out of Delhi were suspended. 30 

The Indian Government made a determined effort to mobilize 
1,500 trucks to carry refugees and their possessions in special motor 
convoys guarded by soldiers. But no more than 640 trucks were 
secured, of which 170 were disabled by lack of tires. 31 

A very spectacular but necessarily limited form of evacuation was 
air transport. As early as August 27, the London Daily Express 
reported that the Government of India had gathered a fleet of planes 
and trucks to rush Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities out of the 
Pakistan area of Western Punjab. On the other hand, the Pakis- 
tan Government, because of the danger to trains from mobs be- 
tween Lahore and Delhi, had ordered twenty planes from the 
British Overseas Airways to fly 7,000 marooned Government officials 
and their families from New Delhi to Karachi. But air evacuation, 
naturally, proved to be inadequate, even for those who could afford 
it. A racket developed in which individuals chartered planes and 
charged terrific prices for seats. 32 

The Hindu-Mqslem Exchange of Population 13 

By and large, however, the tragic exodus was conducted in the 
simplest and oldest way—on foot. Like the Children of Israel, but 
in ten to twenty times their number, millions of Hindus, Moslems 
and Sikhs began their self-evacuation over footpaths and bullock 
cart roads. Sometimes the caravans were relatively small, consider- 
ing the danger they faced; sometimes they were unwieldy columns 
of hundreds of thousands of people. Forming what may be called 
the greatest single refugee trek in the world's history, 800,000 Hin- 
dus and Sikhs, coming on foot from Pakistan, were reported by the 
middle of October as being within twenty-five miles of the Indian 
border. The procession was forty-five miles long, with 400,000 in a 
single column and the rest in smaller groups. New Delhi news- 
paper correspondents reported on October 16th that the immense 
convoy had been attacked twice and suffered about 1,000 casualties. 
The exact whereabouts of the marchers was kept as a "military 
secret" to avoid further attacks. 33 

A month later, ten Moslem foot convoys, totalling 570,000, were 
reported moving across the Punjab toward Pakistan. 3 * In Decem- 
ber, foot convoys, 30,000 to 40,000 strong, marched 150 miles from 
the rich agricultural lands of the Lyallpur and Montgomery dis- 
tricts of Pakistan West Punjab with thousands of head of cattle and 
hundreds of bullock carts carrying the migrants' meager posses- 

sions. 36 

Large or small, Moslem or Hindu-Sikh, all these convoys shared 
common emotions — misery and fear. For those individuals among 
them who had not been driven out by violence and had had ample 
time to make preparations before they left their homes, the food 
problem presented no great difficulty; people who joined the con- 
voys with their bullock carts were generally able to carry sufficient 
supplies with them to la.*": them for, say, a month. But in many 
cases the refugees carried only their clothing and a few pounds of 
food. Moving at the slow pace of the bullocks, ten to twelve miles 
a day, they had to forage or starve. Often the old and the very 
young dropped from hunger and exhaustion. Some were fortunate 

14 Population Transfers m Asia 

enough to have relatives who could aid them when they fell, but 
others were simply left behind by the roadside, alone and helpless 
in a hostile land. 

The hardships of the trek, common to most migrations, were 
compounded by disease and mass murder. From the beginning, 
cholera flourished in the filthy camps and accompanied the trav- 
elers on the road. Armed bands of Moslem, Sikh and Hindu zeal- 
ots preyed upon each other's convoys, and sometimes caravans were 
massacred in miniature wars between groups of refugees bound in 
the opposite direction. 

A great impediment to quick movement of the refugees, accord- 
ing to Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola, High Commissioner for Pakis- 
tan in London, was the practice of both sides searching the persons 
and property of the refugees to prevent the removal from each 
province of prohibited commodities. These searches held up con- 
voys for days and it was soon realized by both sides that they would 
have to be stopped. Orders were passed allowing refugees to take 
with them all their movable property, except merchandise in bulk. 
"Unfortunately," confesses Sir Ibraham, "it has in practice been 
found very difficult to enforce these orders. 36 

The scope of the Indian migration, as well as its hardships, is 
almost beyond imagination. Organization and protection of this 
two-way mass movement became the principal concern of the In- 
dian Army. On September 15, the Army began using tanks to 
escort long columns of Moslem evacuees moving toward Pakistan 
through the Hindu and Sikh country of East Punjab. At the same 
time the Indian Government, under an agreement with Pakistan, 
sent its own troops across the Pakistan border to protect caravans 
of Hindus and Sikhs leaving the West Punjab. By September 25, 
the Army had evacuated 400,000 Moslems to Pakistan and had 
850,000 still to move, while in Pakistan 600,000 non-Moslems were 
marching toward the border of the Dominion of India. Thousands 
more were evacuated in both directions by train and motor trans- 
port. 87 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 15 

The goal was to move this vast populace before famines and epi- 
demics began and in time to harvest millions of acres of crops. The 
success or failure of this undertaking meant the difference between 
famine and adequate food for the entire country. 38 

Control of the situation in both parts of the Punjab was consid- 
erably hampered by the lack of liaison between the Indian and Pak- 
istani provincial governments in Punjab. A great deal of this was 
caused by the refusal of Moslem under-offlcials to cooperate with 
their Hindu and Sikh opposite numbers and vice versa. The civil 
police "have not distinguished themselves," reported the special 
correspondent of the London Times (August 28, 1947). "There is 
ample evidence to show that on both sides the police of one com- 
munity not only failed to give protection to members of another 
community under attack, but actively assisted the attackers. Mos- 
lems have been murdering Hindus and Sikhs. Hindus and Sikhs 
have been murdering Moslems. Each side blames the other with 
passionate vehemence and refuses to admit that its own people are 
ever at fault." 

The joint Punjab Boundary Force under Maj. Gen. T. W. Rees 
was, while it existed, the only liaison between the two Dominions. 
It brought some order into the disorganized and panic-stricken 
trek of refugees. But on August 29, the Punjab Boundary Force 
was dissolved and law enforcement was placed under the British- 
commanded armies of the two Dominions. Moslem, Sikh and 
Hindu units were segregated and allocated to their appropriate 
command. The work of the dissolved Punjab Boundary Force was 
continued effectively under Indian command in the Military Evacu- 
ation Organization which was created on September 5/ 


The numerical scope of the chaotic population exchange be- 
tween the two Dominions grew steadily and surpassed all estimates 
by Indian and Pakistani authoritative sources. 

i6 Population Transfers in Asia 

On September 16, a military spokesman in New Delhi stated 
that from September 5, when the Military Evacuation Organization 
began to function, up to September 13, 400,000 non-Moslems had 
been escorted from Pakistan into the Indian section of the Punjab 
on foot, 115,092 by rail and 51,940 by motor transport. Moslems 
moved in the opposite direction for the same period were 200,000 
by route march, 148,909 by rail and 45,400 by motor. Some hun- 
dreds also traveled in both directions by air. 

Making these evacuation figures public, the Indian Ministry of 

Relief and Rehabilitation— a new Cabinet department — emphasized 

that many thousands had crossed the border uncounted before the 

military organization began to function, while other groups, of 

whom the military had no count, were constantly moving. At a 

press conference held on September 13, Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru, 

India's Prime Minister, estimated that the exchange of minority 

populations between India and Pakistan would total four million, 

or about two million from each side. 40 

J This huge figure of four million proved to be an underestimate. 

f By October 9, 2,388,120 Moslems and 2,644,687 non-Moslems had 

J already crossed the Indo-Pakistan border on foot. There were 

I 8 37498 Moslems and 1,372,329 non-Moslems still en route or wait- 

I ing to cross. The total count of 7,272,634 included 95,000 Moslems 

i in the Delhi encampments and 128,000 Hindus and Sikhs in New 

Delhi, some of whom found shelter with friends or relatives. It 

did not take into account the number who might decide later to 

migrate from one Dominion to the other.* 1 By the end of October, 

j military reports stated that 1,800,000 non-Moslems were yet to be 

J evacuated from the West Punjab and the North West Frontier Pro- 

j ; vinces (Pakistan) and 2,300,000 Moslems were still in the East 

j. Punjab (India) waiting to go to Pakistan. 

i Organized and coordinated evacuation started on October 21, 

]., 10 47' The position then was that about 2,800,000 Moslems were in 

? India awaiting evacuation and about 1,500,000 non-Moslems had to 

be brought over to India from West Punjab and the Frontier 


The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 17 

Province. The period following October 21 was divided into ten- 
day sections, and in each section arrangements were made both for 
evacuation by rail and for evacuation by foot and motor transport. 
The actual working of this system can be seen from the following 
table : 

Approximate Number Approximate Number 

of Moslems of Non-Moslems 

Period Transferred to Pakistan Transferred to India 

Oct. 21-31 600,000 550,000 

Nov. 1 - 10 650,000 130,000 

Nov.n-21 380,000 180,000 

Nbv.21-25 770,000 140,000 

About November 25 the balance that remained to be moved was 
close to 400,000 Moslems and 300,000 non-Moslems. 42 

At a meeting of the East India Association in London, held on 
November 4, 1947, Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola, Pakistan's repre- 
sentative in Britain, revealed that "by agreement between the two 
Governments it was decided to send to East Punjab approximately 
3^4 million Sikhs and Hindus, who were anxious to leave the 
country ... In return we agreed to take about 5 million Moslems 
... At one time we hoped to confine the migration of the Moslems 
to those in East Punjab less the Ambala Division and the States. 
This would have given the reasonable figure of 3,124,000 and would 
have met a fairly equal exchange. But our hands were forced by 
the Sikhs making life impossible for the Moslems in the States and 
in the Ambala Division, and we have to find room now for the 
very large figure of nearly 5,40o,ooo."* 3 

Authoritative quarters in New Delhi estimated that the exchange 
of minority populations in the Punjab, augmented by relatively 
small numbers of evacuees from other provinces, would involve 
close to ten million persons: five to six million Moslems were in- 
volved in the westward migration to Pakistan while over four mil- 

l8 Population Transfers in Asia 

lion Hindus and Sikhs had moved or were moving eastward into 

An Indian Government press note partly corrected these esti- 
mates, placing at 4,131,000 the number of non-Moslem refugees 
who had crossed into India up to November 21 from the West 
Punjab, North West Frontier, Sind and Baluchistan; the number of 
Moslems evacuated in the same period to Pakistan from the East 
Punjab and Delhi was estimated at four to five million. "Every 
nerve is being strained," the press note said, "to complete the evac- 
uation of the remaining 500,000 or 600,000 non-Moslems from the 
West Punjab and North West Frontier by the middle of December. 
On an average more than 60,000 non-Moslems were brought to 
safety every day by using available means of transports-trains, 
motor lorries, aircraft, ships and on foot. Foot columns provided 
the quickest means of evacuating the largest number of refugees." 46 

The population transfer was, however, far from completion by 
the eve of 1948. New danger spots constandy arose, demanding 
further evacuation of minority groups. According to Pakistan's 
High Commissioner in London, "a malicious attempt is being made 
by some Hindus and Sikhs" to increase the already huge number 
of Moslem refugees from East Punjab by many more from Delhi 
and the Western districts of the United Provinces.* 6 On the other 
hand, on December 26, a Government spokesman in New Delhi 
announced that India was negotiating with the Pakistan Govern- 
ment for early transfer of some 70,000 Hindus and 3,000 Sikhs in 
Bahawalpur State which had acceded to Pakistan, because of alarm- 
ing reports of murders and forced conversions of the non-Moslem 
minority. 47 About 25,000 non-Moslems were still waiting for evac- 
uation in the North West Frontier Province.* 8 In the spring of 1948, 
the total number of transferees exceeded eleven million: a spokes- 
man for the West Punjab Government put the number of Moslems 
brought to Pakistan to "about 6,ooo,ooo,"* B and K. C. Neogy, Indian 
Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation, said that "roughly the total 
number of refugees (including Hindus and Sikhs yet to be evacu- 

Thb Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 19 

atcd from Western Pakistan) who needed to be rehabilitated in 
India would be about 5,50o,ooo." M In addition, during the late 
spring and summer nearly 1,150,000 non-Moslems migrated from 
East Bengal (Eastern Pakistan) to West Bengal (India). 81 

It is, it goes without saying, difficult to ascertain the precise num- 
ber of casualties that have accompanied the communal strife and 
the ensuing displacement. of millions of persons. On September 7, 
Miter Sri Prakash, the Indian High Commissioner of Pakistan, 
told a Rotary Club meeting at Benares that almost 150,000 persons 
had been killed thus far in the two Punjabs (India and Pakistan). 62 
By the end of October, authoritative circles in New Delhi estimated 
that deaths directly or indirectly traceable to the Punjab communal 
disturbances and consequent migration 63 would approach one mil- 
lion, the casualties in the different communities being approximate- 
ly 10 per cent of the number of refugees. 6 * 

The huge number of casualties and refugees in the short period 
of approximately four months seems almost unbelievable if meas- 
ured by a European population yardstick. But India's population 
growth and population losses are both of unprecedented dimen- 
sions. Between 1921 and 194 1 the population of India increased by 
about 83 million; the increase in the single decade between 1931 
and 1941 amounted to almost 50 million. On the other hand, dur- 
ing the famine of 1943, deaths from starvation in the province of 
Bengal alone were estimated by the end of October at 100,000 
weekly. An expert on India's population problems aptly wrote in 
1946: "A vast population breeds and dies lavishly." 56 

The fact that disturbances and ensuing mass flights seemed to 
have followed the same pattern in widely separated areas, naturally 
suggested the existence of some organized plan conceived and ef- 
fected at someone's instigation. Major General T. W. Rees who 

30 Population Transfers in Asia 

commanded the Punjab Boundary Force told the Associated Press 
correspondent of his belief that "this program (of communal riots) 
was ably directed by underground leaders, using ancient and mod- 
ern methods of war, who were deliberately keeping the rioting 
alive for their own purposes, despite the orders of the chiefs of the 
Indian and Pakistan Governments."" 6 

The Pakistan Government insisted that the organizers of the 
alleged plot were deliberately aiming at the destruction of Pakistan's 
statehood. Mohammed Ali Jinnah called on the India Government 
"to deal ruthlessly with this diabolical conspiracy and extirpate the 
roots of the plot and the powerful men who are behind the organ- 
ization." 57 Other highly placed persons in the Pakistan Govern- 
ment categorically asserted that the fierce communal bloodshed and 
staggering migrations that have beset the Indian sub-continent since 
it was freed from British rule on August 15, 1947 were the results 
of a highly organized plot with the Sikhs at the core. They in- 
sisted that the Government of India had as early as July, 1947 
known of the alleged Sikh conspiracy, but had not taken effective 
steps against it-through fear of offending the powerful Sikhs and 
the radical Hindu organizations exploiting the Sikhs' grievances. 58 
The Sikhs have thus been deliberately presented as the villains ot 
the entire sad and bloody affair. This is hardly justified. It would 
be a futile endeavor to allocate blame for the state of affairs created 
in India after partition. The Indian controversy is too deeply root- 
ed in the tangle of causes and effects, of ends and means, over a 
period of many decades. No deliberate diabolical conspiracy on 
the part of any persons or clans in so vast a country could within 
a period of a few weeks or even months give rise to the massacre 
of hundreds of thousands and the migration of millions. A far 
deeper and more complicated background, which the author tried 
to outline in the introductory remarks to this chapter, lies behind 
those dramatic events of August-December 1947 that have so dras- 
tically revealed the tremendous significance of India's perennial 
minority problem. 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 21 

Foreign observers were quick to recognize the implications of 
the population movement engendered by partition. As early as 
August 22, the Lahore correspondent of the London Times report- 
ed "the beginning of a vast transfer of populations." "In a few 
weeks' time," he cabled, "at the present rate of transfer there will 
not be a Moslem left on the Indian side of the frontier or a Hindu 
left on the Pakistan side, except perhaps for some Hindu merchants 
in Lahore . . ," B9 Simultaneously, the Associated Press correspondent 
cabled from Jullundur in Punjab that despite the peace efforts of 
the authorities, the opinion was expressed on all sides that there 
could be no respite until minority populations were transferred. 
Robert Trumbull of the New Yor\ Times also related that "more 
and more, sober observers here, both British and Indian, are coming 
around to the view that direct transfer of population is the only 
solution to the communal problem in India's minority districts." 60 
Both Pakistani and Indian leaders, however, stubbornly refused 
to accept the exchange of population as a bitter but inevitable ne- 
cessity and to conduct it in a constructive way. Mohammed Ali 
Jinnah was the only one to foresee the unavoidable developments. 
In an interview with Sidney Jackobson of the London Picture Post 
in January 1947, he expressed his conviction that only a wholesale 
exchange of minority populations between the future states of India 
and Pakistan could offer a solution to the ever growing conflict be- 
tween the communities. 61 But Mohandas K. Gandhi, the most out- 
standing spiritual personality of India, was categorically opposed to 
that idea : he told his prayer meeting in New Delhi that even at the 
risk of standing alone, he would oppose the large-scale transfer of 
populations between India and Pakistan. "The transfer of millions 
of Hindus, Sikhs and Moslems is unthinkable and wrong," he de- 
clared. 62 A few days later, the Government of India and the Acting 
High Commissioner for Pakistan in New Delhi joined in efforts to 
halt the flow of Moslems from India's capital into refugee camps 
.whence they would be evacuated to Pakistan. Both announced that 
steps were being taken to provide "adequate protection" for the 

22 Population Transfers in Asia 

Moslem minority in the twin cities of Delhi and New Delhi. A 
military spokesman told a news conference at Government House, 
residence of Governor General Viscount Mountbatten, that the 
Government wanted to keep the Moslems in their homes. 63 

At a press conference held on October 12 in New Delhi, Mr. 
Nehru frankly admitted that the Government of India "had no 
policy with regard to exchange of population and that there was no 
talk of it before August 15, although since March about half a mil- 
lion people must have come through the frontiers of the Punjab to 
the United Provinces and other places. We only accepted them be- 
cause they came and there was no question of a general migration. 
None of us (Indian leaders)," said Mr. Nehru, "envisaged a major 
transfer of population at any time," and he humbly confessed: "per- 
haps this was due to lack of judgement on our part." The transfer 
undertaking, he added, "was thrust upon us and we had to admit 
that facilities had to be given and to face the problem squarely." 
But even then, a clear distinction was made between Punjab and 
the Northwestern Frontier Province on the one hand, and the rest 
of India on the other. "We took," said Mr. Nehru, "the Punjab as 
a whole and decided that it should be treated as one problem and 
the major transfer of population as between east and west Punjab; 
to that we added the Frontier Province. For the rest the problem 
is one of individuals wanting to go and to be given facilities to go 
or to come." Motivating this position, Mr. Nehru stressed that "if 
this business of transfer of populations was extended to the rest of 
India, it would become not only a terrific problem but almost a 
problem impossible to deal with; we have no desire to spread this 
out all over India." 64 

Following these statements, a very enlightening exchange of 
questions and answers developed between press representatives and 
Mr. Nehru. The first question was: 

"So far as this migration is concerned you have faced the in- 
evitable. But instead of that why not take up the offer that Mr. 
Jinnah has made in his latest statement that exchange of popula- 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 23 

tions may be considered at Governmental level? After all it is not 
merely the exchange of human heads that is involved but very 
largely the exchange of property, means of production and means 
of earning income. Hindus and Sikhs may leave valuable assets 
on that side and Moslems on this side which may be all wasted. 
A regulated exchange of population might bring about such ex- 
change as would preserve and maintain the assets on this side and 
on that side." 

To this Mr. Nehru replied: 

"It is perfectly true that if the thing is to be done it should be 
done properly on a Governmental level without the loss of any 
property to any one. But to think in terms of this being done on 
an all-India scale is a problem which, I think, inevitably reduces 
itself almost to an impossibility— apart from its undesirability. 
You take the census figures and the distribution of the popula- 
tion; it can take us half a generation. But what is likely to happen 
is that it will be done improperly, because once this happens it 
will involve volcanic changes, it will upset the whole economy of 
India, a great deal of the production will cease, there will be 
starvation, there will be mass movements, there will be no railway 
system or any system whatever. Tens of millions of people will 
move and we will sink as a nation without any resources— a 
starving and a dying population." 

"My question is," persisted the press representative, 

"whether you would consider it on a Governmental level in a way 
which would make an appeal to the people and make it feasible. 
I think if the two Governments did it on a basis of friendliness 
and goodwill it may end up with an exchange of the urban popu- 
lation, though the rural population may not be affected at all." 
Mr. Nehru's answer was that "so far as the Punjab is concerned, 
both Governments have triedjand are trying to talk on that level." 
He did not, however, suggest extending that policy to the rest o£ 
India. For his part, Liagat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, 
insisted that there was to be no deliberate transfer of minority 
populations in the Punjab, but only an organized evacuation "of 
those who wish to go." Replying to a previous statement by Sardar 

2 4 Population Transfers in Asia 

Vellabhbhai Patel, Deputy Prime Minister of India, the Pakistani 
Prime Minister denied that the two Dominion Governments would 
ever agree that all Moslems and non-Moslems in East Punjab 
should be transferred "as a matter of policy." According to Liagat 
Ali Khan, the respective Governments agreed merely to facilitate 
the movement already taking place. He raised the strongest objec- 
tion to any enforced evacuation of individual Moslems, remind- 
ing the Indian Government of its obligation to protect minorities. 60 

The only group in India which has unconditionally endorsed 
and favored the exchange of minorities is the Sikh. As early as 
May, 1947, the foremost political leader of the Sikh community, 
Master Tara Singh, insisting on partition of the Punjab, emphati- 
cally stated his belief that Jinnah's demand for exchange of popu- 
lations in India as a whole was impossible of execution because of 
climatic, linguistic and cultural difficulties, but that such exchange 
was altogether practicable within a province and particularly in 
the Punjab. 08 Several months later, he openly condemned what 
he said was the policy of both Mohandas K. Gandhi and Indian 
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's Government in inducing 
Moslems to remain in the East Punjab and in Delhi. 67 The Sikhs, 
he said b December, 1947, would bring pressure upon the Indian 
Government to continue the exchange of minority populations 
with Pakistan because "in case of war, minorities in both Dominions 
would be loyal to the other side"— Hindus and Sikhs to India 
and Moslems to Pakistan 68 

Instead of anticipating developments and preparing a construc- 
tive scheme for channelizing the imminent mass movements, 
Hindu and Moslem leaders in both Dominions persisted in urging 
the minority populations • not to move, promising fullest protec- 
tion of life and property. These promises proved to be worthless, 
and Robert Trumbull cabled on September 14 to the New Yor\ 
Times: "The same leaders who so recently counseled minorities 
to stay put, now concede reluctantly that a tremendous exchange 
of populations must take place. It has taken place." 68 But being 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 25 

unplanned, unwanted and merely tolerated, this unprecedented 
population movement took on a ghastly and ominous aspect. The 
Times correspondent rightly stated: "It may be argued that an 
exchange of populations is the best solution to this question. But 
for it to happen in this manner, accompanied by blood and 
violence, is not only to cause incredible misery among hundreds 
of thousands of simple people, but to sow the seeds of lasting 
bitterness between India and Pakistan. This cancerous growth may 
poison their whole relationship permanently, unless excised soon." 70 
It was because of their reliance on the assurances of their respec- 
tive Governments that the millions of victims had decided to stay 
where their families had lived for centuries. Mr. Nehru himself 
recalled at a press conference in New Delhi that he once came 
across a few hundred people trekking along the road, among whom 
he recognized old friends and colleagues of his. "They came up 
and charged me with having deluded them. They were referring 
to a broadcast I had made ten days previously from All-India 
Rad l0 in which I had appealed to the people not to migrate but 
to stay on. They told me that they had followed my advice and 
this was the consequence; their families were all dead and they 
were the sole representatives left. After that it became impossible 
for us to talk in terms of asking them to stay on, in spite of those 
consequences, and face greater dangers." 72 

On another occasion, when the Indian Prime Minister visited 
the refugee camp of Montgomery Gurdwara, southeast of Lahore, 
to comfort 1,500 Sikhs who had moved there in panic, one of the 
refugees angrily charged Nehru's Government with responsibility 
for the tragic developments.', "Why didn't you tell us this was 
going to happen?" he asked. "Why didn't the Government ar- 
range for a peaceful migration of Sikhs and Moslems many weeks 
ago Instead of letting it happen through violence and terror?" 
The Prime Minister gave the only possible answer-the inability 
of anyone to foresee the events which have convulsed the Punjab. 73 

26 Population Transfers in Asia 

Bloodshed and massacre have, it is true, largely been limited 
to the Punjab with its population of 28,400,000; only a few serious 
outbreaks have occurred elsewhere, mostly in Indian Delhi (with 
its 918,000 inhabitants) and the Pakistan North West Frontier 
Province (with its 3,038,000 inhabitants). Using the 1941 census 
as a basis, one concludes that about 357,000,000 citizens of India, 
Pakistan and the Princely States have been living their normal 
lives in peace. Nevertheless, the partition and disruption of the 
Punjab— long famous as the "granary of India"— has had a serious 
economic effect upon virtually the entire population of both 
Dominions, with Pakistan as the greater sufferer. 

Aside from these disastrous communal disturbances and the dis- 
location of millions of lives, the partition of India into two coun- 
tries within four months' time, completely destroyed efficient 
organization in Government services. At a joint meeting of the 
East Asia Association and the Overseas League on January 21, 
1948, Sir Archibald Rowlands, speaking of the economic effects 
of partition, said: "Consider what happened to the railways. The 
East India Railway was manned to a considerable extent by 
Moslems, and they had left under the idea that it was unpatriotic 
to work for the Indian railways. Then, again, the commercial 
community in the Punjab was largely in the hands of Hindus. 
The only banks which could be said to be working at all were 
two British banks and one Moslem bank; the others had prac- 
tically thrown their hands in; a large part of the financing and 
the growing of the cotton crop was in the hands of the Hindus, 
and it was difficult to get it into the factories." 7 * 

The gigantic movement of over eleven million people has un- 
doubtedly been one of the most staggering problems ever to con- 
front any government. As a technical problem, it involved placing 
troops, patrolling roads, requisitioning trucks and railroads cars 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 27 

and setting up emergency camps. Once the technical phase was 
over, even more complex questions faced both Governments- 
questions involving the entire economic and political structure of 
India and Pakistan. 

K. C. Neogi, Indian Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation, did 
not exaggerate when he said on November 29, 1947 that "the 
magnitude of the refugee problem has been such that there has 
been no historical parallel to it. Nowhere In history has a transfer 
of population of such dimensions taken place in such a short time 
and under such circumstances." The problem itself was "not really 
one problem, but literally scores of problems, each one having 
an importance and urgency of its own." 76 Neither of the two 
Dominions was prepared for competent handling of the situation, 
for partition had thrown their administrative machinery out of 
joint. To quote Mr. Neogi once more, the "Government had no 
experience in this matter and our method has, in many instances, 
been one of trial and error ... we have learnt by experience, by 
mistakes that we have made."" When making this statement be- 
fore the Indian Constituent Assembly on March 12, 1948, Mr 
Neogi had in mind his own. Government, but his remark applied 
fully to the Government of Pakistan, as well. 

Some of the problems resulting from the exchange of popula- 
tions can be solved adequately only on the basis of mutual agree- 
ment between the Dominions. The most complicated of these 
problems ,s the question of property, both movable and immovable, 
left behind by refugees. Besides millions of acres of land aban- 
doned m India and Pakistan, a considerable number of industrial 
and commercial concerns have remained ownerless. In Lahore 
alone, the non-Moslem minority owned 167 factories (out of a 
total of 215) with a registered capital of over 60 million rupees 
(Ji8,ooo,ooo). Ninety-two per cent of the exporters of raw cotton, 
88 per cent of the raw wool exporters, and 8 9 per cent of the 
exporters of miscellaneous items were non-Moslems; non-Moslems 
also owned 63 per cent of the shops." 

28 Population Transfers in Asia 

In the early stages of the unorganized two-way flight, when the 
abandonment of property was considered a temporary phenomenon, 
the joint Hindu-Moslem Partition Council came to the conclusion 
(on August 6, 1947) that because "no arrangements have so far 
been made for the management of refugees' property, and because, 
so long as the local population and the majority community in 
villages and towns maintain a hostile attitude, the refugees will 
be unable to return and look after their property— the two Govern- 
ments have decided to appoint managers, at a suitable level, for the 
administration of refugees* property in the various areas; the ex- 
penses of these managers will be paid out of the proceeds of the 
properties which they are appointed to look after." It was also 
decided that, where this had not already been done, Provincial 
Governments should be asked to set up machinery for the assess- 
ment of damages to both the movable and immovable property of 
the minority groups involved. 78 

Later on, when the exchange of minorities proved both un- 
precedented in scope and final in nature, the Pakistan and India 
Governments agreed on the principle that the ownership of re- 
fugees' property, movable as well as immovable, should remain 
vested in the refugees. Custodians were appointed to look after 
and manage such property on behalf of the owners. 79 Similarly, 
Registrars of Claims were appointed and instructed to make records 
of the property left behind by the evacuees. 80 Where the Custodian 
assumed possession or control of any undertaking or business, he 
had to report to the Ministry of Industries and Supplies regarding 
the feasibility of reopening and continuing the undertaking or busi- 
ness, which could only be reopened or continued in accordance 
with directions received from that Ministry. The Custodian was 
entitled also to sell livestock, standing crops or any evacuee property 
which was subject to speedy and natural decay or the sale of which 
would be for the benefit of the evacuee-owner. 81 It was agreed 
that the Custodian's control and management, whether exercised 
by himself or through a lessee or any other person, would operate 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchangb of Population 20 

only during the absence of the evacuee-owner. It would be open 
to the owner of such property or his legal heirs to claim its 
restoration on payment of the excess, if any, of expenditure 
over receipts during the period the property had been under the 
Custodian's management. 82 

All these de jure guarantees of the inviolability of abandoned 
property do not seem to have reassured the refugees themselves. 
They repeatedly expressed their anxiety about their property and 
demanded final settlement of their accounts on the governmental 
level. It was suggested that in each case "the Government receiving 
the refugees should claim compensation on their behalf for the 
losses they have sustained from the Government from the territory 
of which the refugees have to come away" and that the same 
principle should be applied to expenditures incurred during re- 
habilitation. As an instructive pattern for such procedure, it was 
recalled that after the disturbances in the province of Bihar, the 
then Government of Bengal claimed that the cost of maintaining 
and rehabilitating Bihar refugees in Bengal should be borne by 
the Government of Bihar. When this matter was referred to the 
Government of India, which was at that time headed by Pandit 
Nehru and Liagat AH Khan, the Government accepted the validity 
of the claim and introduced it on an all-India basis. "Now if that 
formula had been agreed to, there is no reason why it should 
not be revived again in the context of Indo-Pakistan population 
transfer," insisted Bimal Chandra Sinha. 83 Thus far, no agree- 
ment on this or any similar basis seems to have been reached be- 
tween the two Dominions. In August, i 94 8 the Governments of 
India and Pakistan signed an agreement for the removal and dis- 
posal of evacuees' movab'e property, envisaging the establishment 
or a joint government agency on which the two Dominions would 
enjoy equal representation. The agency would supervise the ex- 
ecution of agreements and would set up an organization to facilitate 
the movement of movable property by rail and road 84 
A particularly painful and still unsolved problem for both India 

, Population Transfers in Asia 

and Pakistan is that of the recovery and repatriation of abducted 
women. During the troubled months of violence, tens of thousands 
of women, Hindu, Moslem and Sikh alike, were kidnapped. Ac- 
cording to a broadcast of Mrs. Shrimati Rameshwari Nehru, the 
wife of India's Prime Minister, "their honor was outraged almost 
publicly while they were sold out to markets as chattels. The 
trader was not dealt with by law, the buyer was not penalized, 
and even the neighbor did not take exception in this trade. The 
Government could do nothing, while the Police never rounded up 
the criminals. This happened in a free India and in a free 

Pakistan." 86 

On December 6, 1947 the Governments of Pakistan and India 
entered into an agreement binding them to make every attempt 
to return abducted women to their homes. The lists supplied by 
India contained the names of 33,000 non-Moslem women to be 
repatriated from Pakistan, while the lists supplied by Pakistan 
contained 21,000 names of women to be repatriated from India. 
However, up to August 20, 1948, not more than 9,659 women had 
been rescued in India, and only 5,556 in Pakistan. 86 According to 
authoritative sources, "the desired results could not be achieved 
because interested parties carried on propaganda that the abducted 
women, after rescue, would not be accepted in their families again. 8 ' 
This propaganda, unfortunately, was not completely unjustified. 
In an appeal to his fellow citizens, Pandit Nehru indignantly 
branded "the foolish and callous attitude" of some families who 
were "reluctant to welcome back these unlucky sisters to their 
original place of honor" and regarded "these victims of fate and 
fury of man as degraded." 88 An energetic campaign of enlighten- 
ment was launched by the most outstanding Indian leaders to com- 
bat this "most objectionable and wrong attitude." 

There are many grave problems involved in the rehabilitation 
of those millions of refugees who have flocked to each of the 
Dominions. Mr. Neogi put the total number of Hindus and Sikhs 
to be rehabilitated in the Union of India at about five and a half 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 31 

million-three million rural and two and a half million urban. 
Oversimplifying the problem of their resettlement, some members 
of the Indian Constituent Assembly have suggested that it would 
be easy to absorb them by spreading them out in all the 700,000 
odd villages of India. Replying to this suggestion, Pandit Nehru 
flady told the Assembly on November 29, 1947, that "this me- 
chanical calculation does not take us any distance" and invited the 
House to "examine the problem on its merits, apart from vague 
statements and heroics." He admitted that "the rest of India 
ought to do everything in its power to help the refugees" and that 
"land should be given in the United Provinces or in the C. P. or 
Bengal or wherever it may be, if land is available." He stressed 
however, that Hindu and Sikh refugees coming from West Punjab 
were mostly well-to-do peasants with average holdings of 20 to 25 
acres of very good land, while the average holdings in the United 
Provinces were 2-1/2 acres. "In order to provide two persons with 
a room," said Mr. Nehru, "you put them in a room where there 
are ten persons; you are putting two more in it. This would be 
simply unfair ... We cannot be vicariously generous, we cannot 
impose a greater burden on the poverty-stricken people of any 
place merely because you want to be generous. Let us be generous, 
but not, obviously, because, apart from everytbing else, this is 
going to give rise, as it is giving rise, to grave discontent in various 
ways and an unfortunate tendency to dislike these refugees com- 
ing there. We do not want that to happen ... this business of 
taking land where there is none and giving to somebody something 
is not a proper way of giving relief." 

The Indian Government has, therefore, decided that the main 
resettlement and rehabilitation effort must be concentrated in East 
Punjab which includes the Punjab States and is considered capable 
of absorbing almost all agricultural refugees. "People seem to 
think," insisted Mr. Nehru, "that somehow East Punjab is a tiny 
little place where people have not got room to stay and, therefore, 
they should spread out all over the place. The East Punjab from 

j 2 Population Transfers in Asia 

any Indian standard is not only enough, but bigger from the popu- 
lation o£ India point of view, to absorb those who come." 80 

As far as the agricultural refugees are concerned, it was decided 
that all agriculturists from West Punjab and those from the North 
West Frontier Province, Bahawalpur and Sind who have their 
roots in East Punjab must be settled within the pooled unit of 
East Punjab and Indian States in that area. Other agriculturists 
from N. W. F. P., Baluchistan, Bahawalpur and Sind may be set- 
ded on soil elsewhere in India; Alwar, Bharatupur and Gwalior 
in particular, have possibilities in this direction. 90 

It has been decided that lands vacated by Moslem evacuees m 
East Punjab should be allotted to non-Moslem refugees. Since the 
number of rural evacuees on both sides is almost equal, it was 
believed that the problem of the rehabilitation of agriculturists 
would be solved almost automatically. It turned out, however, that 
Hindu and Sikh refugees had abandoned 5.7 million acres of land 
in West Punjab, while the total area abandoned by Moslems in 
East Punjab did not exceed 4.5 million acres, of which 1.15 mil- 
lion are to be found in the insecure districts of Hissar and Gur- 
gaon. Of the cultivable area previously owned by Moslems in 
East Punjab some 3.3 million acres are available for settlement. Since 
the non-Moslem families from West Punjab who are entitled to re- 
ceive land in East Punjab number between 350,000 and 375,000, it 
quickly became evident that — even allowing for Punjab States- 
some 50,000 to 60,000 families cannot be provided for in East Pun- 
jab. 91 Furthermore, the land abandoned by Hindu and Sikh refu- 
gees on the other side of the border is superior to that abandoned 
by Moslems, while the size of the average abandoned agricultural 
holding in Western Pakistan is larger that that of the average 
holding vacated by Moslem evacuees from India. 

Generally, all land allotments to refugees are made on a group 
basis: i.e. to a group of families coming from the same area in 
West Punjab for joint possession and management. Within this 
group framework each family is to receive ten acres of land for 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 33 

cultivation, with an addition of three acres for married adult work- 
ers, and of two acres for unmarried adult workers. 

By the spring of 1948, 1.25 million acres of land in East Punjab 
had been allotted to over 177,000 refugee families, constituting about 
50 per cent of the total number of rural families entitled to receive 
land in that province. 92 

Difficult as the rehabilitation of rural refugees is, the problems of 
urban refugees have proved even more complex. The number of 
houses in West Punjab towns previously inhabited by non-Moslems 
are 175,203, against the corresponding figure of 170,480 for Moslem- 
owned houses in East Punjab. Allowing for new construction to 
provide for the increase in population since 1941, for the differing 
standards of accommodation among Moslems and non-Moslems, 
and for new additions to the urban population in East Punjab, the 
net housing shortage in the towns of East Punjab approximates 
some 75,000 to 100,000 dwellings. In sum, the economy of East Pun- 
jab is not capable of absorbing 700,000 urban refugees (120,00 to 
140,000 families), though steps have been taken to repair damaged 
houses and bungalows, and schemes for the development of large 
cities and the building of a new capital for East Punjab are being 
examined. It has therefore been decided to assign dwellings in East 
Punjab only to those who have come from urban areas in West 
Punjab. Even so, 550,000 urban refugees had to remain under can- 
vas and in refugee camps till April 1948, when they were supposed 
to be assigned to homes. 93 The Government of India is intending 
to solve the problem "by not only building cities in East Punjab, 
but by taking the urban people to cities in the rest of India, having 
colonies, suburban areas, etc." * In response to a request by the 
Government of India, all Provincial Governments have generally 
agreed to waive their housing restrictions in the case of Hindu and 
Sikh refugees from Pakistan. 95 

Schemes of rehabilitation in India may broadly be classified in 
two main categories: those undertaken at the initiative of Provin- 
cial Governments, and those undertaken directly by the Central 

34 Population Transfers in Asia 

Government. Basically, the East Punjab Government ,with some 
financial help from the Central Government, is responsible for the 
rehabilitation of refugees from West Punjab, scheduled for resettle- 
ment in East Punjab and the East Punjab States taken together as 
a pooled unit. Rehabilitation of refugees from North West Fron- 
tier Province, Baluchistan, Bahawalpur and Sind — other than those 
who have old roots in East Punjab and can be resettled there— is the 
direct responsibility of the Government of India. For practical pur- 
poses this category of refugees comprises those dependent on urban 
occupations. In order to coordinate rehabilitation schemes as far as 
possible with the country's development plans, the Government of 
India has set up a three-man Rehabilitation and Development Board 
to work in close cooperation with the Provincial Governments con- 
cerned. 96 

The Indian Government rejected the suggestion to make the re- 
fugees and all the problems connected with them the exclusive con- 
cern of the central authorities. N. Gopalswami Ayyangar, Minister 
without portfolio, explained the reason for this as follows: "We 
have got to remember that whatever policy we may decide on at 
the Center with regard to these problems, a great portion, the bulk 
of it, will have to be implemented by machinery for which we shall 
have to depend on the Provincial Governments in order to make 
the scheme work. Now in a problem like setding people on land, 
it involves an amount of investigation and inquiry and exploiting 
of the information which is in the hands of the Provincial Govern- 
ments, and the Center is not equipped for the task of doing that 
work with as much efficiency as a Provincial Government can, if 
only it went about its business in the proper way." 97 The Central 
Government has advised Provincial and State Governments to 
grant loans on a liberal scale to agriculturists and expressed its will- 
ingness to assist them, if necessary, in this matter. 68 The Indian 
budget for the year 1948 contains an allocation of Rs 100.4 million 
(about $31.33 million) for refugee relief and rehabilitation, with an 
additional advance by the Government of Rs 100 million for setting 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 35 

up a Rehabilitation-Finance Administration." This Administration 
has been authorized to sanction loans from Rs 5,000 to Rs 100,000, 
and also to extend guarantees to banks and other lending institu- 
tions against losses to the extent of 50 per cent in any individual 
case of loans and advances granted to refugees. The Administra- 
tion is not permitted to charge more than a six per cent rate of 
interest; the loans must be repaid within the period of ten years. 

The Ministry of Relief and Rehabilitation has likewise sanctioned 
advances up to a maximum of Rs 5,000, to be granted to traders, 
shopkeepers and those persons wishing to start their own work- 
shops or cottage industries. In the case of doctors, dentists, radiolo- 
gists, and homeopaths, the maximum has been fixed at Rs 3,000. 
Displaced persons wishing to buy a tonga and a horse to ply on hire 
in Delhi may be granted loans up to Rs 1,000. Other displaced per- 
sons are covered by the general loan scheme under which the maxi- 
mum is Rs 500. 

These loans are available all over India and in the Indian States. 
It has been decided that grants should be confined to displaced 
persons who decide to settle finally in a particular town or place and 
who can be fitted into the economy of the area. The advances will 
be paid by the authorities of the district where the displaced person 
decides to settle finally. Those who require loans will be asked to 
produce proof of their having been registered as refugees and an 
affidavit to the effect that they have not previously received a simi- 
lar advance from any other source. 

The advance will be free of interest for the first year, but interest 
will be charged at three per cent for subsequent years. No recovery 
will be made in the first year. Instalments for repayment in the 
subsequent years will be fixed by the sanctioning authority, on the 
condition that the advance be completely repaid within four years 
from the date it is given. In case of default on any instalment ,the 
whole advance will be recoverable as arrears of land revenue. 100 

In spite of careful planning and considerable administrative ef- 
fort, the resettlement and rehabilitation of the over five million 

3*> Population Transfers in Asia 

refugees is still far from completed. As late as June 2, 1948, the 
Government of India Information Services admitted that "a large 
majority (of the non-Moslem refugees) are still in refugee camps . . . 
Some of the refugees are doing odd jobs. Some prosperous mer- 
chants of yesterday are today plying tongas and cabs in Delhi and 
other big towns . . . The problem is to put these men on their feet 
again." In the middle of August 1948, over 2,800,000 refugees were 
reported resettled; of these 2,148,000 were in East Punjab. 101 On 
August 8, Robert Trumbull reported in the New Yor{ Times that 
two million refugees were still stranded in the cities, many without 
employment and shelter. 

These agglomerations of uprooted and unemployed Hindus and 
Sikhs constitute a highly disturbing and menacing element in the 
Indian situation. "The majority of the refugees," wrote Margaret 
Parton in December, 1947, "are psychologically disturbed when they 
arrive in India and frequently, as individuals, work against the wel- 
fare of the whole." In refugee camps most of them have refused 
to work, saying that they have suffered enough and should now be 
cared for; in the East Punjab many have appropriated more land 
than they have been allowed by the Government; in towns and cities 
they claw and fight for houses and shops, frequently refusing to 
obey Government regulations. 102 Eight months later, Robert Trum- 
bull fully confirmed this analysis in a cable from New Delhi: "The 
refugees are becoming increasingly menacing in their dissatisfaction 
with the Government's efforts for their rehabilitation. In addition 
there has developed a natural conflict between the settled urban re- 
sidents and the destitute refugees who are desperately trying to 
wrest a living from the already overcrowded cities." 103 

The Indian Government can hardly be blamed for this situation. 
Mr. Neogi, Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation, correctly stated 
in the Constituent Assembly on March 12, 1948, that permanent 
rehabilitation can be achieved satisfactorily only as an organic aspect 
of the general development of the country, and that it presents tre- 
mendous difficulties "at a time when production is admittedly at a 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 37 

dangerously low ebb, and when the volume of trade and commerce 
in the country is shrinking." Yet, Mr. Neogi, turning to the avail- 
able literature on similar developments in other countries, stressed 
the fact that "in the case of Greece and Turkey-which were the 
first in modern times to have a similar experience of mass move- 
ents of population— the time taken for rehabilitation of a fraction of 
the population with which we are concerned today was five 
years 104 , and they seem to take pride that it was accomplished in 
that period . . . Greece took five years: we have not had as many 
months in India." 105 

The pioblem facing the Pakistan Government proved to be quite 
as complex. The first effects of the Hindu exodus were disastrous. 
The Lahore correspondent of the London Times cabled on August 
22 that all but 10,000 of the city's 300,000 Hindu population had fled 
to India and that "the immediate effect of this Hindu exodus is that 
the economic life of the city is almost at a standstill. Several banks 
are closed, as nearly all the clerks were Hindus. 106 Many shops are 
shut. Railway, postal, and other services are only just managing 
to keep going, as the Hindu employees have gone and there are not 
enough trained Moslems to take their place." 

This description applies quite as well to Karachi, Pakistan's capi- 
tal. High officials of the Pakistani Government were so deeply dis- 
turbed by the exodus of some 1,000,000 Hindus and Sikhs who large- 
ly controlled the city's economic life, that they believed the emigra- 
tion movement was being encouraged by "extremist Hindu 
elements in India wishing to cripple the Moslem State's finances at 
the outset." Ghulam Mohammad, Pakistani Finance Minister, de- 
clared flatly that the exodus was organized by certain sections of 
the Hindu minority who had made plans for this even before the 
two states came into being. And Fazlur Rahman, Minister of the 
Interior, bitterly complained that those leaving Karachi for India 
were taking with them merchandise, machine parts and other 
things badly needed in Pakistan. "It must be part of a plan to para- 
lyze our economy," he said in an interview. 107 

38 Population Transfers in Asia 

In order to prevent the disruption of steady business activities, 
the Sind Provincial Government completely disregarded the agree- 
ment between the Governments of India and Pakistan to the effect 
that evacuees from either Dominion should not be searched. In- 
stead, special export regulations were enforced against Hindus leav- 
ing Karachi; they were not allowed to take with them "essential 
commodities" — machine parts, unsewn cloth, sewing machines, type- 
writers, and so on. Commodities prohibited for export might be 
disposed of by the owners. 108 Restrictions were also placed on the 
panicky flight of capital from Pakistan — a flight which had grave 
repercussions on the money market, particularly in Western Pakis- 
tan. Even in Eastern Pakistan, in spite of comparatively peaceful 
conditions, there was considerable flight of capital to West Bengal. 
"Those banks which had their assets locked up in the Eastern Pa- 
kistan had a most difficult time and some of them have virtually 
collapsed," states a a Indian economist. 100 

Restrictive governmental measures have, however, only slightly 
improved the general situation. Nearly all of Pakistan's financial 
and professional men were among the millions of Hindus who fled 
to India. In return, Pakistan got four to five million impoverished 
Moslem peasants from India, most of whom left their agricultural 
implements behind. Pakistan found itself with camps full of land- 
less farmers and an almost complete lack of skilled technicians or 
businessmen. The majority of workers in Pakistan's Industrial De- 
partment were non-Moslem and opted for India. Necessary equip- 
ment and machines were not obtainable and the Department lost 
some of its best institutions in East Punjab. When Moslem workers 
in the East Punjab cottage, hosiery, handloom, carpet, blankets, 
foundry and engineering industries started to arrive in West Pun- 
jab, their resettlement presented tremendous difficulties because fac- 
tories abandoned by Hindu industrialists were closed down and 
some of them needed heavy capital investments before they could 
be in working order again. There was also a shortage of building 
material, spare parts, pig iron, mild steel, tool steel, coke, coal, 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 39 

chemicals, etc., which had always been imported into West Pun- 
jab. 110 . 

Despite all these obstacles, the West Punjab Government claims 
considerable progress in the "even and methodical rehabilitation" of 
the Moslem transferees. Official figures released in February 1948 
indicated that more than 5,100,000 had already been rehabilitated in 
the sixteen districts of the West Punjab, in place of the Hindus 
and Sikhs who emigrated to the Dominion of India; while not 
more than 773,500 Moslem refugees were at that time still kept in 
camps awaiting settlement. 111 Of 9,843 towns and villages vacated 
by Hindus and Sikhs, 8,925 were occupied by Moslem resettlers; 
3,600,000 Moslems were settled in rural areas replacing 2,200,000 
evacuated non-Moslems. The West Punjab Government assigned 
Rs 21.5 million (approximately $6,670,000) from August 15, 1947 to 
March 31, 1948 for loans to refugee agriculturists. Each refugee 
peasant was entitled to a loan up to Rs 400 for the purchase of cat- 
tle, agricultural implements, seeds and manure and for the construc- 
tion of wells. The Government decided, as an experimental mea- 
sure, to cultivate some blocks of crown land through direct tenants 
under governmental management; the produce will be shared on 
the threshing floor, except for cotton, all of which will be sold and 
the cash proceeds divided between the Government and the tenants. 
Consideration is also being given to a scheme of cooperative farm- 
ing in the canal colonies of the West Punjab. 

About 1,600,000 Moslems have found employment in urban areas 
in place of 1,400,000 non-Moslems who left for India. Factories 
abandoned by Hindus were leased out to Moslem refugee industria- 
lists and experts; simultaneously, the services of industrialists and 
public volunteers were enlisted to save the factories from further 
damage. Dumps were created to conserve the material available, 
and syndicates were entrusted with their management. Despite all 
these efforts, of 934 factories abandoned by non-Moslems only 56 
had resumed work by February 1948. 112 

4° Population Transfers in Asia 

As far as East Punjab, on the one hand, and West Punjab, on the 
other, are concerned, the two-way Moslem and non-Moslem migra- 
tion has actually effected a clear-cut sorting out of the rival com- 
munities. "The scarcest thing in Lahore is a Sikh or Hindu, while 
in Amritsar there was not a single Moslem fez to be seen," reported 
the New Yor\ Times correspondent as early as August 21, 1947. 
Not more than 150 to 200 thousand Moslems have remained in the 
whole of East Punjab, where 5.3 million Moslems lived in 1941. 
The last insignificant remnants of the 3.6 million strong Hindu- 
Sikh minority in West Punjab were evacuated in the spring of 1948. 
Of 238,000 non-Moslems in the North Western Frontier Province 
only 48,500 remained by November 1, 1947; these were almost com- 
pletely transferred to India during subsequent months. The total 
population of Hindus and Sikhs in the province of Sind was esti- 
mated at 1,400,000 at the time of partition. Of this number 1,177,000 
had left Sind by June 30, 1948.' 13 

This unprecedented exchange of minorities seems to bear the 
mark of finality. There have been, it is true, some authoritative 
statements to the contrary. In an article published in the Hindustan 
Times of September 29, 1947, Syed Ali Zaheer, United Provinces 
nationalist leader and former member of the Interim Government, 
insisted that "the transfer of populations must not only stop but 
must be undone if real peace is to be established." On the other side 
of the barricade, it was the late Mahatma Gandhi who told the 
Hindu refugees in the Kurukshetra camp that he believed that they, 
as well as the Moslem refugees, must "all be reinstated and return 
with honor and safety from where they have been driven out. 11 * 
But there is little probability that this policy of "undoing the trans- 
fer" will ever be implemented. The overwhelming majority of those 
who left their blood-drenched and fire-gutted cities and villages on 
both sides of the Hindu-Pakistan frontier can hardly return. 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population ai 

Nor will those who would attempt to do so be permitted by their 
former Governments to return. A convincing proof to this effect 
was offered by the Government of India in the spring of 1948 when, 
with relatively peaceful conditions restored, certain groups of Mos- 
lems who had fled to Pakistan in 1947 began to return to India. 
Nearly 52,000 Moslems had returned to India during April, May 
and June of 1948.™ This return movement created a complex pro- 
blem. Property hastily and informally vacated by the fleeing Mos- 
lems during the fall and winter of 1947 had been taken over by 
"evacuee-property custodians" for allocation to Hindu and Sikh 
refugees from Pakistan; settlement with the former owners was to 
be made later. The return of these owners threatened to upset these 
plans. The Government of India, therefore, promulgated an ordi- 
nance called "Influx From West Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 
1948" which prohibits the entry of any person into India from any 
place in West Pakistan, whether directly or indirectly, unless he has 
in his possession a special permit. The Pakistan Government, in 
turn, tightened its border controls and declared that permits would 
be required of all persons wishing to enter Pakistan from India. 116 
The exchange of eleven million persons between India and Pakis- 
tan was anything but an organized and constructive movement 
conceived by the interested Governments and carried out in an "or- 
derly and human manner," to use the formula of the Potsdam 
Protocol. It was voluntary only in that the Governments of Pakistan 
and India had not officially ordered it. It was compulsory in that 
it was forced by mass slaughter and stark terror. The people in- 
volved were driven by fear, not by hope. The respective Govern- 
ments originally tried to suppress the causes of this mass migration 
—communal strife, killings and arson— and, what is more, bitterly 
opposed the very idea ot it. Later, confronted with irrepressible 
realities, they reluctantly accepted the new situation and endeavored 
to meet the most urgent needs of the migrants. The results of their 
endeavors may seem considerable when the newness of the Domin- 
ions is remembered, but as far as statesmanship and foresight is 

42 Population Transfers in Asia 

concerned, their policy was that of "too late and too little." They 
never even tried to make a virtue out of necessity and to convert 
the obviously unavoidable tragedy of mass flight into a state-di- 
rected device for at least partial solution of the minority problem in 
the most explosive sector of the Indian sub-continent. 

The tranfers which went on have merely been tolerated, but 
never directed. No serious attempt has been made to legalize and 
channelize this two-way migration through inter-state agreements. 
Not only the immediate causes of the migration, but the migration 
as such was considered and treated as extra-legal. Both Govern- 
ments persisted in futile efforts to induce the menaced populations 
to stay put, promising them security and protection, though they 
were manifestly unable to keep these promises. Had the fear-strick- 
en masses heeded these appeals and renounced or postponed their 
flight, the number of victims would have been considerably higher. 
But, as B.R. Sen, charge d'affaires of the Indian Embassy in Wash- 
ington, reluctantly admitted, although "both Governments believe 
the migrations are unnecessary and unwise . . . the decision is being 
made by the people themselves." 117 

Huge as it was, the exchange of populations that took place in 
1947 and partly in 1948 did not solve the perennial minority pro- 
blems of India. Over eleven million people have been transferred, 
but there are still about thirty-five million Moslems in the Domin- 
ion of India and some thirteen million Hindus and Sikhs in the 
Dominion of Pakistan (almost exclusively in East Pakistan) . Their 
eventual organized transfer is not even envisaged by the respective 
Governments. As late as March 24, 1948, the Prime Ministers of 
India and Pakistan published a joint statement expressing "hope 
and trust that minority communities will remain in their homes . . . 
this is in the best interests of all concerned." Nevertheless, "this 
does not mean," the statement reluctantly conceded, "that the Gov- 
ernments intend to put any obstacles in the way of those who, of 
their own will, decide to migrate from one Dominion to the 
other." 118 A few weeks later, an agreement designed to reassure 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 43 

the Hindu and Moslem minorities in East and West Bengal and to 
discourage mass migration between Pakistan and India was signed 
in Calcutta by the Governments of the two Dominions. 119 

The presence of these tens of millions belonging to minorities 
causes tension and increasingly poisons the relationship between the 
sister Dominions. The Moslems minority in India is subjected to 
strong pressure on the part of the Hindu leaders who demand that 
the Moslems abandon their separatist attitude and become loyal 
citizens of the Indian Union. United Provinces Premier, G. B. Pant 
insistently urged Moslems of India to "leave off thinking in terms 
of Hindus and Moslems" and to liquidate the Moslem League. "If 
; t a secular democratic state is to be established," he said, "communal 
i ; organizations cannot be tolerated." Emphasizing that the good will 
^ ? of the majority community is the ultimate safeguard for minorities, 
*| Mr ' Pant Said: " No Goverl "nent can save minorities without the 
{ good-will of the majority community and that good-will cannot be 
created merely by paying lip homage to the work of Mahatma 
Gandhi and Pandit Nehru." 120 

Moslem leaders have repeatedly stressed their willingness to adapt 
themselves to a status of loyal minority. Mian Abdul Aziz, acting 
High Commissioner for Pakistan in India, declared on September 
18, 1947: "So far as the Moslems in the Indian Union are concern- 
ed, they seriously and honestly intend to remain loyal citizens of the 
Union" 121 One month later, the Indian Government Education Mi- 
nister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, endorsed the demand for dis- 
solution of the Moslem League and advised the Moslems "to co- 
operate with the Government wholeheartedly." 122 The Conference 
of West Bengal Moslems, which met in Calcutta on November 9, 
also urged Indian Moslems to dissociate themselves from the "Mos- 
lem League, to abjure the two nation theory, and unequivocally to 
j\ affirm their faithful allegiance to India. 123 The Moslem Calcutta 
;;. daily, Morning News, wrote on January 11, 1948: "Indian Moslems 
I have accepted the fact of India's partition, and their leaders have 
time and again said so, that they are citizens of India and owe true 

44 Population Transfers in Asia 

allegiance to India and to none else. Those that cannot give the 
India Government such unconditional allegiance have migrated to 

In spite of these and similar conciliatory declarations, the relation- 
ship between Hindus and Moslems remains strained. On the inter- 
national arena, India and Pakistan accuse each other of oppressing 
their respective minorities and preaching or tolerating their exter- 

In January, 1948, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Sir Mohammed Za- 
frullah Khan, officially charged the Government of India with "car- 
rying out a program of genocide against Moslems" in more than 
twelve provinces of the Indian Union and asserted that "the free- 
dom and religion of the Moslems of India was in serious danger." 
India's representative in the United Nations, M. C. Setalvad, cate- 
gorically denied these charges and stated that "large masses of the 
thirty-five million Moslems in the country were living in peace, un- 
disturbed and unmolested;" he saw the root of Hindu-Moslem 
conflict in the "continual preaching of hatred of one community by 
Moslem leaders for a number of years." Mr. Setalvad quoted several 
instances of "lawlessness, murder and massacre rampant even today 
in Western Punjab and Sind." 124 In April Pakistan's delegation in 
the United Nations repeated charges of genocide against India and 
insisted that a "deliberate scheme of the suppression of the Moslems 
not only in a cultural and religious sense but even in a physical 
sense has gone on in various forms in different parts of India . . . 
Unless speedy steps are taken the world is going to witness a trage- 
dy of vast magnitude involving the lives of a whole community 
numbering thirty million." 125 

Sir Percival Griffiths, who revisited India during the first winter : 
of partition, told a joint meeting of the East India Association arid)! 
the Overseas League on February 3, 1948, that "the presence of these 
large populations, each of which will be nervous about its position 
and will suspect tyranny even where there is none, will be a com- J 
plication which will make relations between the two Dominions 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 45 

extremely delicate." 129 Indeed, the mood of the minorities is increas- 
ingly bitter and frustrated. If the individual feels relatively secure, 
it 1S because he belongs to a community of his own, not because he 
is a citizen of India or Pakistan. Partition and the tragic events of 
August-December 1947 have left a deadly legacy of poisoned mem- 
ones. The minority communities are apprehensive, and the majori- 
ties distrustful. 

Should further large-scale population transfers be considered im- 
practicable, each Dominion will have to create among its population 
a still non-existing feeling of common statehood. The prevalent 
feeling that safety for the minority lies exclusively within its own 
group's horizon, must be overcome. 


James C. De Wilde, The Shadow of the Sword, New York 1946 p 142 
Tit t . preSldential address delivered at the Allahabad session of the 
All-India Moslem League in December 1930, Dr. Sir Muhammed Iqbal 
said: The units of Indian society are not territories as in European 
countries. India is a continent of human groups belonging to different 
races, speaking different languages and professing different religions 
Their behavior is not at all determined by a common race conscious- 
ness Quoted in K. L. Guaba, The Consequences of Pakistan, Lahore, 
1946, p. 35, 

S. K. Shastri, Deputy Director of the Indian Government's Information 
bervices in Washington, claims that "90 per cent of the Moslems of 

i , *? converts (rom Hinduism" (letter to this author, dated March 
o, 1948). 

Robert Aura Smith, "Why India Fights India", in Saturday Evening Post 
December 6, 1947. 

4. Quoted in William B. Ziff, The Gentlemen Tal\ of Peace New York 
1944, p. 224. ; 

T. See also: K. B. Krishna, The Problem of Minorities or Communal 
Representation in India. London 1939, Part I, Chapter If: The Growth 
of the Moslem Professional Class (pp. 94-97), 

7. Choudharry Rahmat Ali, The Millat and Its Mission, quoted in De Wilde 
The Shadow of the Sword, p. 156. ' 

8. "Hew Yor\ Times, September 14, 1947, 


46 Population Transfers in Asia 

9. O. H. K. Spate, "The Partition of India and the Prospects of Pakistan" in 
The Geographical Review, January 1948, p. 10; O. H. K. Spate, "The 
Boundary Award in the Punjab" in The Asiatic Review, January 1948, 

P. «■ 

10. For the full text of Sir Cyril Radcliffe's Report see Indian Information, 
Sept. 15, 1947. 

11. Edmund Taylor, "India's Black Morning", The Hew Republic, October 13, 

12. Andrew Roth, "On the Sikh-Moslem Frontier", The Ration, September 
20. 1947. 

13. Hew Tot\ Times, February 28, 1947. 

14. Andrew Roth, op. cit. 

15. Hew Tot\ Times. June 23, 24, 26, 1947. 

16. Ibid., September 19, 1947. 

17. Ibid., September 24, 1947. 

18. Ibid., September 25. 1947. 

19. Ibid., September 14, 1947. 

20. Ibid.. September 7, 1947. 

21. TintM, London, September 18, 1947. 

22. Government of India Information Services, October 31, 1947. Rajkumari 
Amrit Kaur, Indian Minister of Health, however, stressed in a broadcast 
talk on October 18, 1947 that "even in all this horrid turmoil and time 
of tribulation that we have passed through and are still passing, there 
have been many instances where Hindus and Sikhs have sheltered Mos- 
lems and Moslems have saved Hindu and Sikh lives," (Indian Informa- 
tion, November IS, 1947). 

23. Hew Tor\ Times, October 10, 1947. 

24. Ibid.. October 12. 1947. 

25. Hew T°rk Herald Tribune. January 9, 1948. 

26. Andrew Roth, op. cit. 

27. Hew Tor\ Times, October 15, 1947. 

28. Ibid., September 25, 30, 1947 

29. Andrew Roth, op.cit. 

30. Hew Torlt Times, August 26, 1947 

31. Ibid., September 4; October 8, 1947 

32. Ibid., September 2, October 4, 1947 

33. Ibid., October 17, 1947 

34. Ibid., November 16, 1947 

35. Ibid., December 7, 1947 












The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 47 

Habib Ibrahim Rahmitoola, "The Ideals and Prospects of Pakistan" in 
The Asiatic Review, January 1948, p.31 

Hew Tot\ Herald Tribune, European edition, September 7, 1947 
Hew 7ot\ Times, October 26, 1947 

Ibid., September 17, 1947 
Ibid., October 15, 1947 

Statement of N. Gopalswami Ayyangar, Minister without Portfolio, 
in the Indian Constituent Assembly, November 29, 1947. Indian In- 
formation, January 1, 1948 

The Asiatic Review, January 1948, pp.28-30 

Hew Tor\ Times, October 26, 1947 

Ibid., December 4 and 7, 1947 

The Asiatic Review, January 1948, pp. 28-30 

Hew Tor\ Times, December 27, 1947 

Government of India Information Services, February 1, 1948 

Dawn (Karachi), March 1, 1948 

Government of India Information Services, March 1, 1948 

Ibid,, August 18, 1948 

Hew Tor\ Times, September 9, 1947 

Some European observers took a very dark view of the health prospects 

of the migrating millions and predicted that many would not survive 

the winter. These predictions fortunately did not materialise. "It is 

my proud claim today," Mr. Neogi, Indian Minister for Relief and 

Rehabilitation, stated on March 12, 1948, "that the mortality that has 

prevailed among the refugee papulation is not in some cases even as 

high as the normal mortality in cities and towns and rural areas having 

comparable population." Indian Information, April 1 5, 1948 

Ibid.. October 21, 1947— Earl Mountbatten, Governor General of the 

Dominion of India, took, it is true, a considerably more optimistic stand 

as regards the number of people killed in the course of the communal 

strife .According to his estimates, deaths resulting from massacre in 

India and Pakistan will be shown to amount to only a "fraction" of 

the figures thus far quoted; He did not, however, give any precise data 

to substantiate this statement. Hew Yor\ Times, November 15, 1947 

D. Ghosh, Pressure of Population and Emonomic Efficiency in India. 

p. 65. See also Gyan Chand, India's Teeming Millions. London, 1938 

Hew Tor\ Times. August 21, 1947 

Ibid., September 9, 1947 


48 Population Transfers in Asia 

59. Hew Tor\ Herald Tribune, European edition, August 24, 1947 

60. Hav Tot\ Times, August 27, 1947 

til. The author owes this information to Sidney Jackobson who authorised 
him to publish it. 

62. Hew Yor\ Times, September 16, 1947 

63. Ibid., September 19, 1947 

64. Indian Information, November 1, 1947 
6 J. Hew Yor\ Times, October 16, 1947. 

66. India Toddy, May 19, 1947. 

67. Hew Yor\ Times, October 6, 1947. 

68. Ibid., December 4, 1947. 

69. Ibid., September 14, 1947. 

70. Times, London, August 28, 1947. 

72. Indian Information, November 1, 1947. 

73. Hew Yoi\ Herald Tribune, European edition, September 4, 1947. 

74. The Asiatic Review, April 1948, p. 124. 

75. Indian Information, January 1, 1948 . 

76. Ibid., April 15, 1948. 

77. Government of India Information Services, June 2, 1948. 

78. Indian Information, September 1, 1947. 

79. Ibid., January 1, 1948. 

80. Millions on the Move, published by the Ministry of Information and 
Broadcasting, Government of India, Delhi, 1948, p. 46. 

81. Indian Information, October 15, 1947. 

82. Ibid., December 1, 1947. 

83. Bismal Chandra Sinha, "Economic Relationship between India and ^j 
Pakistan", in The Modern Review, February 1948, p. 108. 

84. Indian Information, February 1, 1948. 

85. Ibid., March 15, 1948. 

86. Government of India Information Services, August 31, 1948. 

87. Indian Information, January 1, 1948. 

88. Ibid., February 1, 1948. 

89. Ibid., January 1, 1948. 

90. Ibid., April 15, 1948. 

91. Millions on the Move, p. 25. 

92. Ibid., pp. 26-27 

93. Ibid., pp. 25-28 

The Hindu-Moslem Exchange of Population 49 

94. Mr. Neogi's statement in the Indian Constituent Assembly on Nov. 29, 
1947. Indian Information, January I, 1948 

95. Ibid., January 15, 1948. 

96. Ibid., April 1?, 1948 

97. Ibid., January 1, 1948. 

98. Government of India Information Services, March 1, 1948 

99. India Today, April 1948 

100. Millions on the Move, pp. 73-74 

101. Government of India Information Services, August 18, 1948 

102. Margaret Parton, "India's Great Migration" in J^ciu Yor\ Herald Tri- 
bune, December 13, 1947 

103. Hew Yor\ Times, August 8, 1948 

104. This, of course, is incorrect. The Refugee Settlement Commission set 
up by the League of Nations functioned from November 1923 to Jan- 
uary 1931. See Joseph B. Schechtman, European Population Transfers 
1939-1945, New York, 1946, pp. 19-20 

105. Indian Information, April 15, 1948. 

106. The following advertisement, placed by a well-known Punjab bank, 
appeared in a Lahore paper: "The management of the. . .bank regrets 
the inconvenience caused to their patrons on account of the non-func- 
tioning of the branches in West Punjab for reasons beyond their con- 
trol. The bank is making every endeavor to resume functioning as soon 
as possible. The Hindu and Sikh staff of the bank being afraid to 
serve in Pakistan, resumption of service can only begin after Moslem 
staff has been recruited and properly trained. For this purpose a few 
of our Hindu officers are staying on in Pakistan during the training 
period of the new staff. Such officers should receive the full and sym- 
pathetic cooperation of the public to enable them to train Moslem per- 
sonnel. In case of any hardship or rough handling of such Hindu 
officers of the bank, it may become difficult for the bank to re-start 
functioning in Pakistan." — Quoted in The Modem Review, January, 

107. Hew Torl^ Times, October 13, 1948 

108. Ibid. 

109. Bismal Chandra Sinha, "Economic Relationship between India and 
Pakistan," in The Modern Review, February, 1948, p. 108 

110. Dawn, March 1, 1948 

111. In striking contradiction to this encouraging statement, the Pakistan 
Government announced six months later that about 2,500,000 refugees 
were still not settled. Hew Tor\ Times, August 28, 1948 

5° Population Transfers in Asia 

112. Hew rork Times, February 27, 1948; Dawn. March 1948 ' 

113. Million* on the Move. pp. 68-70; Indian Information, December II. 
1947. Government of India Information Services, August 18, 1948 

114. Indian Information, December 1, 1947 

11 J. Government of India Information Services, August 23, 1948 

116. India Today, September 1948; Hew r r\ Times, September 24, .1948 

117. Hew Tor\ Times, September 24, 1947 

118. Pa\istan Hews (published by the Information Department, Govern- 
ment of Pakistan), No.13 (period 24-30 March, 1948) 

119. Hew Tor\ Times, April 20, 1948 

120. Government of India Information Services, November 17, 1947 

121. Ibid., September 24, 1947 

122. Ibid., October 28, 1947 

123. Ibid., November 17, 1947 

124. Hew ?ot\ Times, January 17 and 24, 1948; Indian Information Feb- 
ruary U, 1948 

12 J. Hew TotJi Times, April 15, 1948 

126. Sir Percival Griffiths, "India Revisited: The First Winter of Partition," 
in The Asiatic Review, April, 1948, p. 142 


Repatriation of Armenians to Soviet Armenia 

T^TEXT to the Jews, the Armenians are the most "classic" min- 
J_^| ority people in the modern world. Not more than 1,201,591 
Armenians live in a state of their own, 1 the Armenian Soviet 
Socialist Republic,— these are about two-fifths of the Armenian 
nation. Even within the Soviet Union the Armenians of 
Soviet Armenia represent only 61 per cent of the 2,151,884 Armen- 
ians registered by the all-Union census of 1939, the largest groups 
being concentrated in the Georgian and Azerbaijan SSR, as well 
as in North Caucasus and Crimea. About one million Armenians 
are scattered over Europe (where there are approximately fifteen 
groups totalling 170,000); throughout the Middle East and Asia 
(where there are sixteen groups totalling about 425,000); and in 
North and South America (where there are seven groups totalling 

Both the present numerical smallness and the utter dispersion of 
the Armenian people are the direct result of a Turkish policy of 
extermination and deportation. In 1890 there were two and one 
half million Armenians in Turkish Armenia and Turkey proper; 
by 1919 fewer than 100,000 remained. More than a million and a 
half had been massacred or ihad perished as a result of deportation, 
and about a million had survived by escaping to other lands. 

A considerable part of the survivors found refuge in the Russian 
Caucasus. In 1915 some 220,000 Armenians from Turkey and Persia 
arrived there; in 1916, 160,800 Armenian refugees were reported 
assisted by the Empress Marie Committee — this number does not 

S 2 Population Transfers in Asia 

include unassisted refugees and those within 15 kilometers of the 
front. In 1918, the number of Armenian refugees reached 408,000;* 
in 1921-1925. some 13,300 Armenian refugees from Turkey arrived 
in Soviet Armenia* by way of Greece, Persia and Iraq. 

Migration, famine and epidemics, particularly of typhus, account- 
ed for the drastic reduction of this refugee mass. A total of only 
120,068 Armenians born outside the USSR was registered by the 
1926 census in all of Transcaucasia (Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbei- 
dzhan). V. Quisling puts the total number of refugees settled on 
and m Armenia at about 102,500.* In 1926-1936 new groups total- 
ing 15,500 immigrated to Soviet Armenia, largely from Greece, fol- 
lowed in 1937 by 6,ooo immigrants transferred on the basis of a 
Greco-Soviet agreement. 7 

The pre-World War II distribution of Armenian war refugees 
outside Soviet Armenia, the Americas, Iran, Iraq and Turkey is 
shown in the following table: 8 

Country Number 

(in thousands) 
Syria and Lebanon I00)0 

France 6 3 !o 

Greece 25,0 

Bulgaria I4>5 

Rumania g 

c yP r «s 2,y 

Other European Countries 3,8 

The number of Armenians in Iran was approximately IO o,ooo, in 
Turkey 57,599 (1935 census), and in Iraq 6,900. 

A plan for resettling Armenian refugees upon reclaimed and ir- 
rigated land in Soviet Armenia had been drawn up in 1924-25 by 
Fndtjof Nansen. The Government of the Armenian SSR was ready 
to receive a considerable number of Armenian settlers from 
countries of the Near East, to give the land necessary for their settle- 
ment free of charge, and to exempt them from taxation for the first 
three years. Nansen estimated that in addition to cost of transport, 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 53 

a settlement loan of nine million gold roubles would be required, 
which would provide for land reclamation, irrigation work, and the 
cost of settlement of 25,000 refugees. 9 The plan was abandoned in 
1929 due to failure to raise the necessary funds. 10 

It was revived on a much larger scale and along predominantly 
political lines, after the end of World War II. This time the initia- 
tors of the plan were the Armenians themselves and their aim was 
not piecemeal transfer of small groups of refugees but wholesale 
repatriation to Soviet Armenia of the million Armenian refugees 
scattered over the world. 

The term "repatriation" can, of course, be used only figuratively 
in this connection. The overwhelming majority of the Armenians 
living in the Middle East, in European countries or in the United 
States never lived in what is now Soviet Armenia, and they can no 
more "return" to this territory than the Baltic Germans could be 
"repatriated" to the Reich. They are either natives of the countries 
in which they now live, or refugees from Turkish Armenia who 
escaped the wholesale extermination of 1915-1919. Their transfer 
to Soviet Armenia is repatriation in the spiritual sense only. It is 
in that limited sense that the term will be used in the following 

"The inducements to leave do not all come from the Russian 
side," wrote the London Economist on January 11, 1947. "The 
growth of xenophobia and of Moslem nationalism in the Arabic- 
speaking states— particularly in Egypt and Syria— is closing more 
and more doors to outsiders. It is impelling many to go." The 
mood prevailing among the Armenian communities in the Middle 
East was described in 1946 by A. H. Hourani as follows: 11 "The great 
majority of Armenians. . .practically all of them, except the small 
minority who have property or large interests in Syria and Leban- 
on. . .desire ultimately to return to the Caucasus and rebuild their 

54 Population Transfers in Asia 

national life there." Differences exist only "on the manner of their 
return": some have accepted the inclusion of Armenia in the Soviet 
Union and are therefore willing to return immediately and uncon- 
ditionally, while others object to Sovietization and desire to return 
only when Armenia becomes an independent State. 

This description applies fully not only to the 250,000 Armenians 
in the Arab lands, but to the entire Armenian diaspora. The urge to 
put an end to their insecure minority existence and to "live in the 
shadow of Mount Ararat" 12 is felt passionately not only by those 
Armenian refugees who have not succeeded in adequately support- 
ing themselves and their families but also by more settled and pros- 
perous elements. "Their reason for leaving is not necessarily econo- 
mic, or that they are unhappy in the countries where the families 
of some have lived for hundreds of years, but their desire to live as 
a national group in their own country after centuries of persecution 
and massacres," stated a spokesman of the Armenian Repatriation 
Committee in Jerusalem. 13 

This longing for statehood and national normalcy has apparently 
overcome doubts concerning the desirability and advisability of a 
"return" to a Soviet-dominated country and has established a cer- 
tain community of interests between the imperial tendencies of the 
Soviet Union and the repatriation action of the strongly nationalis- 
tic, generally non-Communist, Armenian organizations abroad. 

In fact, the movement for the mass transfer of scattered Arrae-. 
nian minority groups to the Armenian SSR was closely linked in 
its early stage with the demand for the expansion of Soviet Armen- 
ia's present territory through the incorporation of the Armenian 
provinces of Kars, Ardahan, Erzeroum, Trebizond, Van and Bitlis 
held by Turkey. These provinces were part of the Armenian 
Republic as established by the abortive Treaty of Sevres (August 20, 
1920) : the Armenian population they had before 1915 was massa- 
cred, deported or forced to flee, so that they are now both "Armen- 
ian-free" and underpopulated. 14 Armenian national organizations 
argued that, apart from the historic and moral claim for 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 55 

die unification of these provinces with Soviet Armenia, 
their 40,000 square miles are essential to the resettlement of 
the million prospective Armenian repatriates. Soviet Armenia, they 
pointed out, is a small country with an area of 11,580 square miles 
and a population of about i.g million — almost 130 persons per square 
mile. More than two-thirds of the area is mountainous country un- 
suitable for agriculture, whereas more than two-thirds of the Arme- 
nian population (915, 183) are agriculturists and only 366,416 are 
town dwellers. 15 Most land flat enough for cultivation is covered 
a good part of the year by dust that is driven by strong winds; rain- 
fall is scarce and rivers and brooks run in deep ravines. Hence, an 
acute land crisis exists which accounts for the fact that many Ar- 
menians are compelled to seek work outside Soviet Armenia in 
other parts of the Soviet Union. 

Construction of extensive irrigation canals has increased the cul- 
tivable area fivefold in the past twenty-five years, and industriali- 
zation of the country has provided a livelihood for large sectors of 
the population. But resettlement of almost a million repatriates 
within the narrow boundaries of already heavily populated Soviet 
Armenia with its unusually large natural increase (the Armenians 
have the highest birthrate among all the peoples of the USSR) 
would present insuperable difficulties. The repatriation movement 
initiated by the Armenian national organizations in 1945 was there- 
fore organically linked with demands for the territorial expansion 
of Soviet Armenia. 

In April, 1945 the Armenian National Committee (an offspring 
of the otherwise traditionally anti-Soviet Revolutionary Federation 
Tashnags) presented to the United Nations Conference on Inter- 
national Organization (UNCIO) in San Francisco a memorandum 
demanding the incorporation into Soviet Armenia of some of the 
eastern provinces of Turkey promised the Armenians in the Treaty 
of Sevres, and the transfer to Armenia of the remnants of the Ar- 
menian minority in those regions. 16 A month later, a delegation of 
the Armenian National Council of America, representing fifty Ar- 

5*> Population Transfers in Asia 

menian organizations in the United States, presented a similar de- 
mand; that "opportunities be granted Armenians abroad to return 
to their own homes and pastures, their cities and villages and live 
there their own lives." The memorandum also demanded the in- 
corporation into Soviet Armenia of the Armenian provinces now 
forming part of Turkey. "We want no less," stated the delegation, 
"than the joining of our historic land of Armenia to the existing 
state of free and independent Armenia, and the repatriation there of 
all Armenians abroad who wish to go there." 17 

Inasmuch as the San Francisco Conference was "not delegated to 
settle questions relating to repatriation and settlement of boundar- 
ies," the Armenian National Council in July, 1945 presented a simi- 
lar request to the Potsdam Conference of the Big Three. Recalling 
Turkish persecution of the Armenian population in the last century 
and pointing out that during recent years the Turkish Government 
"had worked out new means of expropriating and subjugating the 
small Armenian population in Turkey," the Armenian memoran- 
dum went on as follows: "Fortunately, in one part of Armenia-that 
which formed a part of Russia before the First World War— an 
independent Armenian Republic has been created, forming an in- 
tegral part of the Soviet Union. In the course of its years of exist- 
ence Soviet Armenia has made giant strides in its development and 
has provided Armenians with the security which was absent in their 
past. . . At present 1,500,000 Armenians live outside Soviet Armenia 
and in other parts of the Soviet Union. The overwhelming major- 
ity of them desire to return to the lands of their forefathers and to 
take part in their reconstruction. The Americans of Armenian de- 
scent urgently ask the Potsdam Conference to put the question of 
the Armenian Nation on its agenda so as to guarantee a just setde- 
ment of the Armenians desiring once again to live in their historic 
land, Soviet Armenia." 18 

The Potsdam Conference disregarded this Armenian appeal. 
Undeterred by the setback, the Armenian National Council ap- 
proached the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers (December 

f: Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 57 

16-26, 1945), calling their attention "to the cause of the one-and-a 
half million Armenians scattered over the earth, victims of Turkish 
terror and persecution. The overwhelming majority of these refu- 
gee Armenians desire to return to their birthplace, which is still 
under Turkish control. They can only be repatriated when their 
homeland becomes a part of Soviet Armenia." 18 A similar appeal 
to the Moscow parley was sent by the Armenian Catholicos, George 
VI, asking for the "return of the Armenian vilayets to Soviet Ar- 
menia to enable the refugee Armenians to live peacefully in their 
fatherland." 20 

These Armenian actions, intended to mobilize international sym- 
pathy and support for the wholesale repatriation of the Armenian 
diaspora to Soviet Armenia and for the enlargement of that coun- 
try's territory, did not produce the expected results. The Govern- 
ments of Great Britain and the United States were particularly 
reluctant to favor any expansion of Soviet territory at the expense 
of Turkey and were inclined to consider the entire Armenian cam- 
paign a Soviet-instigated device. Foreign Secretary Bevin stated 
that Soviet Armenia has no right to claim the provinces of Kars and 
Ardahan on ethnical grounds since, as the result of "movements of 
population", there are no Armenians there now. This statement 
was bitterly criticized by the Armenian press. 21 The Armenian 
National Committee in the United States sent Mr. Bevin a cable, 
pointing out that the absence of Armenians in Kars and Ardahan 
was caused by the massacre and forced flight of the 230,000 Ar- 
menians in those provinces when the Turks occupied them in Sep- 
tember 1920. 22 This and other arguments have, however, failed to 
change the negative attitude of the Western Powers towards the 
Armenian demand for territorial changes in favor of Soviet Ar- 

The repatriation action was accordingly initiated as a purely Ar- 
menian enterprise, enjoying the blessing and support of the Soviet 
Government only. 

58 Population Transfers in Asia 

The delegates of the Armenian communities in France, the Bal- 
kans, and the Middle East to the Armenian Ecclesiastical Congress 
in Emchiadzin (June 15 to 25, 1945) were instructed by their con- 
stituencies "not to return without securing the definite promise of 
the Armenian Government to take practical steps for the repatria- 
tion of the refugee Armenians in the world." 23 The newly elected 
Catholicos, George VI, fully endorsed this wish of the Armenian 
Diaspora and expressed great concern over the state of the Armen- 
ians dispersed in the countries of the old and new world. The Gov- 
ernment of Soviet Armenia resolved, on November 12, 1945, to 
allow the repatriation of Armenians from abroad. 2 * This decision 
was approved by the USSR Government in Moscow. On Decem- 
ber 2, a special communique was published, stating that prepara- 
tions were under way for receiving and accommodating Armen- 
ians living abroad who wished to setde in Soviet Armenia. 26 

A governmental Committee to Receive and Resettle Armenians 
was appointed in Erevan, the capital of Soviet Armenia, and in- 
structed to establish ties with appropriate Armenian organizations 
in other countries. The repatriates were to be encouraged to bring 
with them, free from custom duties, their tools, furniture and 
personal property. The Soviet Government earmarked a fund for 
the payment of 50 per cent of the cost of building individual houses 
for the settlers. 

According to the Erevan Committee, repatriation was to start 
in June, 1946 with the immigration of 50,000 Armenians in the 
course of several months— these were to come from Iran, Syria, 
Lebanon, Greece, Bulgaria and Rumania. At the request of the 
repatriation committees of certain countries, their quotas were 
raised, so that a total of about 65,000 people were supposed to enter 
Armenia by the end of the repatriation season in the fall of 1946 
—approximately 20,000 from Syria and Lebanon, 30,000 from Iran, 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 59 

and the rest from the other countries. Actually, however, only some 
51,000 were repatriated. 28 

The Armenian diaspora responded enthusiastically to the call 
for repatriation. "When the news of the action of the Armenian 
Government reached Alexandria, Egypt," says Rev. Vertanes, "the 
people flocked to the Church with a deep sense of gratitude for the 
beginning -of the end' of their tribulations as a dispersed people. 
Similar expressions of joy were in evidence in other countries." 

In accordance with the appeal of the repatriation committee in 
Erevan, Armenians abroad formed special committees, enlisted the 
cooperation of existing organizations, and opened offices to register 
the repatriates and raise funds for them. Official representatives 
from Armenia to the countries from which the repatriation would 
start in 1946, cooperated in the preparation of the lists of repatriates, 
and generally supervised and facilitated the emigration. Soviet 
Consulates helped where they could. Persons of all ranks registered 
tor repatriation-laborers, farmers, artists, businessmen, students, 
professionals and intellectuals. Within one month, 20) ooo Armen- 
ians had registered in Iran, 35,000 in Syria and Lebanon, and thou- 
sands m Greece, Egypt and Palestine. By August 1946 the number 
of those applying for repatriation reached 2oo,ooo. 27 The figure of 
800,000 applications given in March 1947 by an Armenian author 28 
seems to be highly exaggerated. 

The repatriation movement went on pardy by land, mostly by 
sea. The only group which entered Armenia by land were the 
Armenians from neighboring Iran, whose situation has in recent 
years become steadily worse. They used to occupy rather important 
posts in the Iranian administration, but are now being increasingly 
replaced by Persians. 29 Their positions in agriculture and garden- 
ing as well as in trade and business have also been undermined to 
a great extent. By the end of 1946, some 60,000 Armenians regis- 
tered for repatriation, 30 and 30,000 actually left. In one day 12,737 
persons crossed the Iranian-Soviet border. 31 
Repatriation from all other countries proceeded by ship. Repa- 

6o Population Transfers in Asia 

triates who embarked in the Mediterranean ports went through the 
Dardanelles and Bosporus to Batum, and thence to Armenia- The 
Soviet Government provided two of its best vessels. One of these, 
the former Italian Saturnia, rechristened Rossia, was the largest 
vessel ever to pass through the Bosporus; the other was the Tran- 

The Armenian Government decided that the first group to be 
repatriated and rehabilitated would be Armenians from Greece 
(100,000 found refuge there after their expulsion from Turkish Asia 
Minor in 1922), who had suffered more from the war than Arme- 
nians in other countries. 32 About 5,000 were repatriated to Soviet 
Armenia in 19465 s3 the first group, numbering 2,000, left in late 
July. 34 In the same month 3,500 Armenians began their journey 
from Bulgaria. 38 

The most numerous and most impatient group among the 1946 
repatriates were Armenians from Lebanon and Syria. The 70,000- 
75,000 Lebanese Armenians and the 120,000 Armenians in Syria 
are recent settlers in those countries. Most of them entered in suc- 
cessive waves during and after the war of 1914-18, fleeing from per- 
secution or from anticipation of it. A number arrived in 1939 after 
the cession of Alexandretta to Turkey. The overwhelming major- 
ity arrived penniless. But in the last two decades, thanks to their 
own efforts and to those of the Nansen Office, their economic situ- 
ation improved considerably. Almost all of them live in towns 
where they are craftsmen, small traders and office workers, and con- 
stitute a half-isolated community centered around their churches, 
clinging to their national language and maintaining their own 
schools. Even in the predominantly Christian Lebanon, "they have 
not always been popular with the Arabs," states A. H. Hourani. 
"Arab nationalists complain that their presence has given rise to an 
additional minority problem, and one particularly difficult to solve. 
Lebanese Moslems regard them as one of the factors making for 
Christian predominance; had it not been for their immigration, the 
Moslems would now have a majority in Lebanon." The Armc- 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 6i 

nians are also "not popular" with the Christians who dislike them 
"for having come into the country destitute and being now pros- 
perous . . . Being concentrated in a relatively small number of urban 
dwellings, they are peculiarly open to attack," Hourani remarks 
ominously. 3 * It is only natural that the urge for repatriation has 
always been particularly strong among them. As early as July, 1945, 
several months before the call for repatriation was issued, members 
of the middle and lower classes in Syria and Lebanon began to 
register for transfer to Soviet Armenia. 

The first group of 1,600 repatriates from the regions of Damascus, 
Rayak and Beirut left Beirut on June 23; on July 8, a second ship 
sailed from Beirut with 1,834 repatriates aboard, and on July r 3 , a 
third ship with 2,300 passengers departed from the same city. ST 
Entire Armenian settlements have emigrated. A Soviet correspond- 
ent reports that in the settlement of Ainchar on the Beirut-Damas- 
cus highway, established in 1938 by 5,000 Armenian refugees from 
Alexandretta, 3,000 left in 1946 and 1,200 more in I g 47 . 38 

The remnants of the Armenian minority in Turkey were the 
first slated for repatriation (see the above quoted memorandum of 
the Armenian National Committee). Their number was given as 
57,599, of whom 39,821 reside in Istanbul. 39 Although statistics are 
vague with reference to Armenians in Anatolia, a reliable source 
estimates as many as 15,000 living there, whereas figures for the ten 
provinces for which statistics are available total n, 7 oi. No statistics 
are given for such eastern provinces as Kars, Van, Erzurum, Mush, 
Snrt, and Agri, where large numbers of Armenians lived before 
World War I. It is not known whether all the Armenians in these 
regions have been exterminated or removed. Armenian sources es- 
timate that there are 170,000 Armenians in Turkey, but over 100,000 
of them have been Turkified by force or so isolated that they are 
regarded as lost to the Armenian nation. 40 

The move of the Armenian National Committee in the United 
States aroused a great deal of fear among the Armenians in Turkey. 
They anticipated that the Turks would be utterly displeased with 

62 Population Transfers in Asia - j 

the transfer demand — particularly in view of strained Soviet-Turk- 
ish relations— and might retaliate by applying administrative and 
economic pressure on the Armenian community. The Turks parti- 
cularly resented the fact that the Soviet Consulate in Istanbul start- 
ed enlisting Armenians for repatriation without consultation with 
the Turkish Government. 41 Well-informed observers of the Turk- 
ish scene expressed doubts as to the willingness of the Istanbul 
Armenians, who form over two-thirds of the remaining Armenian 
community in Turkey, to leave for Soviet Armenia; it was argued 
that they belong to the petit bourgeois class and do not form a 
politically conscious and nationally well organized group. In fact, 
some 30,000 Turkish Armenians registered for repatriation. 42 Their 
departure was made impossible by increasing political tension be- 
tween Turkey and the Soviet Union. 

During the summer of 1946, 50,761 repatriates arrived in Soviet 
Armenia. Inclement weather interrupted the repatriation move- 
ment during the winter months; the work was resumed in the 
spring of 1947. The original schedule for 1947 provided for the 
reception of 100,000 people. 43 Later the number was reduced to 
6o,O00. 44 In addition to continuing the repatriation from Greece, 
Syria, Bulgaria and Iran, it was decided to start receiving repatri- 
ates from Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, France and the United States. . 

In June, 1947 a Soviet Armenian delegation arrived in Salonica to 
supervise the repatriation of about 17,000 more Armenian refu- 
gees. 46 Early in July, the Soviet ship Pobeda left Beirut carrying 
2,230 Armenians from Syria and Lebanon, and on September 7, 
2,550 more repatriates embarked on the same ship. 46 

The first party of 1,600 Armenians from Egypt sailed early in 
September from Alexandria. 47 The Armenian community in Egypt 
numbers between 30,000 and 35,000. About one-half of this number 
came as refugees from Turkey during and after the first World 
War. At least one-third of the total are Egyptian citizens. The 
community is, on the whole, prosperous, preserves its language and 
cultural traditions and is one of the most important centers of Ar- 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 63 

menian national culture. Notwithstanding this rather satisfactory 
statu^and despite the fact that "there is no prejudice against 
tnem , the urge for repatriation seems to be very strong. 

It appears to be even stronger among the 11,000 Armenians in 
r-aJestine who are a predominantly urban community of craftsmen 
and traders. Some of them are prosperous, although they are less 
important economically than in Egypt. Many families have been 
settled m Palestine for two hundred years; the rest came as refugees 
after the first World War.« Some registered with the Soviet Re- 
patriation Committee for transfer to Soviet Armenia. 60 The first 
group of 1,200, including mostly tradesmen and skilled workers, 
left late in October, 1947 on the Pobeda. Of these, 640 were from 
Jerusalem, 250 from Jaffa and 310 from Haifa. 61 

Their departure was delayed by the late arrival of a group of sev- 
en hundred Armenian repatriates from Iraq who were scheduled to 
leave on the same ship. 53 The Armenian colony of Iraq which 
numbered 6,900 members in 1935, is predominantly an urban trad- 
ing community. While carefully preserving their language and 
traditions, they are too few to be able to avoid some measure of as- 
similauon, 53 and many of them responded readily to the call for 
repatriation. Before leaving Baghdad, the seven hundred repatri- 
ates issued a statement thanking the Iraqi people for their hospital- 
ity and friendship. 64 

The London Economist (January 11, i 947 ) ap d y points out ^ 
the departure of the Armenians from the Arabic-speaking lands "is 
depriving countries which stand in great need of skilled labor of an 
industrious and hardworking element that they can ill afford to 
lose. To wave goodby to a minority of the type of the Armenians 
may feel like good politics, but it is bad economics." 

The deep and widespread Armenian longing for national normal- 
cy brought repatriates even from France and the United States to 
Soviet Armenia. The first group of 3,500 to be repatriated from 
France embarked on September 5 in the harbor of Marseilles on the 

64 Population Transfers in Asia 

Soviet steamer Rossia, transporting with them their furniture and 
tools. 55 

On April 21, 1947, the Soviet Embassy in Washington approached 
the State Department with the request that the American Govern- 
ment "render assistance to those Armenians who desire to return to 
their motherland by permitting them to leave, export property 
which belongs to them, relinquish their foreign citizenship, etc." 
Replying to this note, the State Department stated on May 28 that 
"the Government of the United States will interpose no objections 
to the departure of persons of Armenian origin from the United 
States to the Soviet Union. . . No exit visas are required, and such 
emigrants are at liberty to take their personal property with them. 
American citizens may voluntarily relinquish their American citi- 
zenship by making a formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign 
country in accordance with the laws thereof." 58 

Of the approximately 180,000 Armenians in the United States, 
about one thousand (250 from Boston which has an Armenian- 
American population of 15,000) registered for repatriation to Soviet 
Armenia. Among them were native Americans and hundreds who 
had held United States citizenship for periods of from ten to forty 
years; some were wealthy and had occupied high positions. 57 The 
;j first group of 153, mostly from New England states, sailed on 

;j November r, 1947, on the Rossia. According to Szot I. Chepurnykh, 

;! ' Soviet Vice-Consul in New York, all American citizens in the 

; J group accepted Soviet citizenship when they agreed to be repatri- 

lj ated. Several of the passengers, however, stated that they retained 

;1 their American status and would return to the United States if they 

did not wish to remain in Armenia. There was also a controversy 
;} as regards the costs of the passage. The Vice-Consul stated that all 

;.[ expenses of the trip were borne by the Armenian Government, but 

:| this was contradicted by Mr. Mgrditch Pragouni, executive secre- 

■ tary o£ the New York Committee to Aid the Repatriation of Ar- 

il menians, who insisted that all the repatriates were paying for their 

• own passage. 58 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 65 

The Moscow radio asserted on November 1 that these American 
Armenians were disillusioned with life in America; some of them 
were quoted as having complained of unemployment and discrim- 
ination. The repatriates themselves, before their departure, issued 
a statement saying: "America gave us refuge when the Armenian 
people were on the brink of total extermination following the brutal 
massacres by the Turks during and following World War I. The 
democratic institutions of America afforded us an opportunity to 
build hfe anew. We did our utmost to serve America well." The 
return to Armenia, the statement added, "was impelled by one of 
the deepest emotions of the human heart-the desire to live and 
work in the land where for countless generations before us our 
ancestors have lived, struggled, and brought forth a matchless 
civilization." 60 

At the Black Sea port of Batum, the gateway to their Promised 
Land, the repatriates received a heartwarming reception from the 
population. From Batum they proceeded by train to Erevan. On 
the way, as the train crossed the Armenian boundary line, they were 
welcomed again with a great pomp and ceremony by officials, 
farmers, workers and friends. The same warm reception was given 
them at Erevan. Speeches of welcome were exchanged by represen- 
tatives of the Government and of the repatriates. 60 

On their arrival the newcomers were given medical examinations. 
Nearly 60 per cent were found to be suffering from malaria, tra- 
choma or dysentery. In a short time, dysentery was wiped out, the 
number of trachoma patients was reduced considerably, and malaria 
was well under control. 

Plans for the permanent housing of the repatriates had been un- 
der way long before their arrival. The Government had planned 
to construct 1,115 new homes within three months in Erevan alone. 
By January, 1947, 135,000 square meters of living space was to be 

66 Population Transfers in Asia 

ready for occupancy. The Five Year Plan of the city of Erevan 
made provision for the establishment of suburban settlements. In 
dustrial enterprises set about to provide housing facilities for the 
new workers they expected. Erevan and Arabkir were joined by 
a wide avenue, to be named after General Bagramian; and nearly 
all the lots flanking it, as well as those in adjacent districts, were to 
be available for private homes. The repatriates were granted loans 
totalling 19,000,000 rubles. Families received credits for home con- 
struction from 25,000 rubles, in the case of farmers, to 30,000 rubles, 
in the case of city dwellers, payable within fifteen years. Trans- 
portation facilities, construction materials, and the necessary work- 
ers were made available. 

Plans had also been made to provide work for the repatriates. 
All leading industrial enterprises submitted lists of personnel they 
needed to the Government's Reception Committee. In Erevan the 
repatriates were classified according to occupation, interest and 
background, before being assigned to their new homes and jobs. 
If not satisfied with the initial assignment, they were free to setde 
where they pleased. 

During the summer of 1946, of the 50,761 repatriates who had 
arrived in Armenia, 20,000 adults were given jobs in their chosen 
profession or occupation — for example, tailors, textile loom opera- 
tors, goldsmiths, metal workers, collective farmers, engineers, teach- 
ers, technicians, physicians, artists, etc. Scientists and writers were 
given work in institutes and foundations. Some were offered re- 
sponsible positions as managers and executives. There were in- 
stances where new jobs were created to meet existing needs and to 
utilize the talents of workers and specialists. 61 

The educational facilities of the Republic were put at the dis- 
posal of the repatriates. More than six thousand young people en- 
tered the schools, many of them to receive instruction in their 
mother tongue for the first time. About six hundred enrolled in the 
technical schools. About twelve hundred were accepted in the Uni- 
versity of Erevan and the medical, agricultural and teacher's in- 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 67 

stitutes. The repatriates enjoyed the opportunity given them to 
study the mother tongue, while being fully relieved from financial 

The enrollment of the children gave rise to educational problems, 
since the teaching methods and curriculum in the Soviet Union 
differ from those in other countries. To meet thesse problems, the 
Armenian Ministry of Education tested the aptitudes of the chil- 
dren concerned. As a result, special classes were instituted for grades 
1 through 4. For grades 5 to 7, courses in the Russian language, 
history, geography, chemistry and the Soviet Constitution were in- 
troduced. For grades 8 to .10, there were special evening classes, to 
enable pupils to complete their secondary education. For students 
on college level, similar one-year adjustment programs were set up. 

The repatriation movement was financed by Armenian communi- 
ties all over the world, by the Armenian Church and national or- 
ganizations in Soviet Armenia and other Soviet Republics, and by 
the Armenian Government. In America, the Armenian General 
Benevolent Union launched a million dollar campaign, which ex- 
ceeded its goal, thanks to the support of the League of Armenian 
Compatriotic Societies, and other constituent organizations and lo- 
cal chapters of the Armenian National Council of America. In 
Salonica the local repatriation committee resolved that repatriates 
who were more or less well off financially should participate in the 
transportation expenses of their less fortunate brethren. It carried 
through the plan by grading the repatriates according to ability to 
pay the fare, as follows: those in Category A, 300 Drachmas per 
person; in Category B, 100 Drachmas per person; in Category C, 
50 Drachmas per person; in Category D, free. In Salonica, special 
effort was devoted to soliciting contributions toward a $50,000 re- 
patriation fund, of which $30,000 had been collected throughout 
Greece by the fall of 1946. 

The small Armenian community of Lyons, France, raised one 
million francs for the cause the first night of the campaign. Other 
communities in France raised larger sums. 

68 Population Transfers in Asia 

In Aleppo, Syria, the local chauffeurs offered to help transport 
repatriates. Those who planned to drive their taxis to Armenia 
expressed willingness to take along with them as many others as 
they could accommodate. Those who had no taxis were willing to 
drive privately owned automobiles free of charge. 

Yet as early as August, 1946, the Armenian Bulletin issued by the 
Armenian National Committee in the United States, stressed that 
while "until now all the money necessary for the transportation of 
the refugees has been supplied by the Armenian communities in 
foreign lands ... it is now obvious that the money which will be 
required for the task ahead is beyond the financial means of Ar- 
menians abroad. Greater sums and greater facilities for transporta- 
tion are essential for the success of the enterprise. This can be ac- 
complished by either of two means. The first is by appropriation 
of a sizeable sum of money for this purpose by the Government of 
the Armenian Republic. The other method is by means of an in- 
ternational organization which might expedite the transfer of 
Armenian refugees in the same manner as is now being used for 
the millions of victims of the war." 

The Government of Soviet Armenia assigned considerable sums 
for the accommodation of the Armenian resettlers. A credit of 
40,000,000 rubles was appropriated for the construction of homes in 
1946. Later, the Ministry of Municipal Economy of the Republic 
earmarked 6,500,000 rubles for the construction of homes in 1947. 

Particularly generous was the response of the Armenian national 
iji institutions and of the Armenian population. The Catholicos, 

I George VI, diverted the use of the building fund of the Cathedral 

$& of Echmiadzin to aid the return of his "beloved children." The 

I ;jj people in the rural districts and in the cities inaugurated drives of 

|f their own. The collective farmers of the Artashat District were the 

first to respond. They asked each worker to subscribe from four 
to five days wages, and each collective farmer to contribute a de- 
finite sum from his savings. In forty-four villages of this District 
and the District Center, over a million rubles were collected in a 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 69 

very short time; 569 rooms were found that could be put at the 
disposal of the arriving repatriates; and the construction of new 
homes was begun. The Artachat peasants then extended a call to 
their fellow-citizens in the Republic at large to do their share in 
the common cause and received the unstinted support of the people 
all over Armenia. On the collective farms and the machine and 
tractor stations in the Amassia District, 211,000 rubles were collected 
on the opening day of the campaign. In the vlliage of Kishlagh, 
the collective farmers raised 140,000 rubles in one hour's time. In 
the Nor Bayazet District, they raised 500,000 rubles in one day. In 
the cities, workers turned in weekly salaries to the Repatriation 
Fund. In Erevan, in the Stalin District, they contributed 1,255,000 
rubles; in the Mototov District, 1,200,400 rubles; in the Kirov Dis- 
trict, 1,028,812 rubles; and in the Spandarian District, 500,000 rubles. 
Each worker of the Erevan Flour Mills donated the equivalent of 
five to fifteen days wages. 

There is little non-Soviet information regarding the installation 
of the repatriates in Soviet Armenia. According to the usually 
well-informed London Economist, it appears "that the conditions 
they (the repatriates) are encountering are not at all what some of 
them expected. After the easy-going life of Cairo or Damascus it 
is a shock to encounter the shortages and difficulties that are the 
lot of the Russians today." But, the Economist admits, "the new- 
comers see around them the promise of educational and medical 
facilities far beyond anything the Middle East had to offer. What 
matters if, for the moment, the grant for a house is valueless be- 
cause there are no building materials for the money to buy? 62 

In the course of 1946-47, some 110,000 Armenians were transferred 
from ten countries (Iran* Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, 
Greece, Bulgaria, France, the United States of America) to Soviet 
Armenia. This is in itself a very appreciable achievement, particu- 
larly in view of the complexity of the political, psychological and 
practical problems involved. But the number of repatriated Arme- 
nians represents only some n per cent of the Armenian diaspora, 

7° Population Transfers in Asia 

and the results so far attained must be considered merely the prom- 
ising commencement of a larger project. 

It is too early to pronounce definite judgement on the prospects 
of the whole scheme. Much depends on the progress of the resetde- 
ment of the first groups of repatriates. It is not quite clear as yet 
whether Soviet Armenia in its present boundaries is in a position 
to absorb many hundreds of thousands of new settlers, and whether 
the Soviet Government is ready to continue its present repatriation 
policy without hopes of territorial expansion. If, however, the repa- 
triation action is carried out sucessfully, it will solve one of the 
world's most intricate and pathetic minority problems. 

The Abortive Assyrian Transfer 

l~|N June 17, 1948, in the British House of Commons, Mr. Skef- 
fmgton-Lodge raised the matter of the Christian communities in 
the Moslem Middle East. These age-old Christian minorities, said 
the outspoken Member of Parliament, "live dangerously; they live 
almost as the Christians of the pre-Christian Roman Empire lived." 
In Iraq, "Moslems are denouncing and speaking of Christians, who 
are their neighbors, in terms which the German Nazis reserved 
only for the Jews." But, added Mr. Skeffington-Lodge, no section 
among the Christian communities in the Middle East "is in greater 
risk and danger at the present time than that body known as the 
Assyrian Christians . . . they are facing virtual annihilation." 93 

The British M.P. did not exaggerate. 

The Assyrians are Christians. Their Church is one of the oldest 
and most aristocratic in Christendom. Centuries ago they were a , 
great and advanced people of about forty million whose contribu- ; 
tion to science and culture was numerous and valuable. Assyrian | 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 71 

historians stress that at the dawn of the Middle Ages the services 
rendered by the Assyrian (Nestorian) Church to the propagation of 
Christianity, education and enlightenment throughout the con- 
tinent of Asia were unsurpassed. 

Of this ancient glory little has remained. Centuries of dispersion 
and persecution reduced the Assyrian people to insignificance. The 
Assyrians were truly described by the Information Section of the 
League of Nations as a "Nation-Church" bearing "the shadowy 
heritage of the ancient name of Assyrians." 64 At the outbreak of 
World War I their number was estimated at 155,000, comprising 
three main groups: 80,000 inhabited the Tigris valley in what is 
now Iraq, 35,000 lived in Persian Azerbaijan; and 40,000 in the 
Hakkiari mountains in the vicinity of the frontiers between Turkey, 
Russia and Persia. 65 When Turkey entered the war in November 
1914, both the Turks and the Russians bid for the support of the 
Hakkiari Assyrians. In the spring of 1915 the Assyrians decided to 
join the Allies. In spite of their courage and fighting spirit, they 
were driven by the Turkish forces from their mountain homes. 
Some forty thousand took refuge in Persia at the end of 1915. To- 
gether with the Persian Assyrians they fought on the side of the 
Russians until the Russian front collapsed. In the summer of 1918 
the seventy thousand Persian and Hakkiari Assyrians had no al- 
ternative but to retreat toward the British forces in Mesopotamia. 
Moving three hundred miles southeastward with their families, 
livestock, and possessions, they suffered from perpetual attacks by 
the Turks, Kurds, and Persians. Fewer than fifty thousand ultimate- 
ly reached the British garrison in Hamadan. 

Later, some of the Persian refugees returned to their villages. But 

the Hakkiari mountain tribes numbering some 15,000 persons re- 

.mained in Iraq. The Hakkiari district was assigned to Turkey by 

the League of Nations in 1925, and the Kemalist Government 

barred the repatriation o£ the tribes. 68 

It became necessary to face the prospect of establishing a "per- 
manent home" for more than twenty thousand Assyrians scattered 

72 Population Transfers in Asia 

over the Iraqi province of Mosul. However, no place for their re- : '^ 
settlement was found within the boundaries of Iraq. The failure 
of all the resettlement schemes considered can certainly not be 
ascribed to the scarcity of Iraq's land resources. Iraq is one of the ■?! 
most underpopulated countries in the world. Its area is 140,000 f| 
square miles and its population in 1920 did not exceed 2,850,600. ,;;,a 
The real cause of the failure of all attempts to settle the Assyrians -M 
in Iraq in a single homogeneous community was cautiously and en *| 
passant described by the League of Nations Information Section as 5$ 
"ill-feeling between certain sections of the Arab population and this | 
[Assyrian! small Christian minority, the greater part of which was | 
not indigenous to the country." 67 The idea of a closed Assyrian S 
settlement in Iraq was abandoned. $\ 

The alternative solution— individual absorption of the Assyrians ,-|| 
into the Iraqi population, their religious freedom being maintained • |; 
—was frustrated by the Anglo-Iraq treaty of June 30, 1930, which |j 
provided for the surrender by Great Britain of the Iraq Mandate | 
and for independence of Iraq. This new development created M 
much anxiety among the Assyrians, who were well aware of the 
dangers awaiting ethnic and religious minorities in an independent 
Arab state. In October, 1931 Assyrian petitions, presented to the 
League of Nations, stated that "it will be impossible for them [the 
Assyrians] to live in Iraq after the withdrawal of the [Brit- 
ish] Mandate." They therefore asked that arrangements be made 
for the transfer of the Assyrians in Iraq to a country under the 
rule of the Western nations, or, if this were not possible, to Syria. 68 
The Iraqi declaration in May 1932, including guarantees for the 
protection of minorities, had by no means dissipated their appre- 
hensions. In 1932, when Iraq became a member of the League of 
Nations, the League's Council had before it petitions from the As- 
syrians asking that they be either transfered or settled in Iraq in 
a compact community possessing local autonomy. The Council 
adopted the view that the demand for administrative autonomy with- 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 73 

in Iraq could not be accepted; no territory for a compact com- 
munity of Assyrians in Iraq was made available. 69 

Disappointed at the results of their representations, some eight 
hundred men, leaving their families behind, crossed the Syrian 
border on July 22, 1933, in the belief that the French authorities 
would provide them with land. They were, however, ordered by 
the French to return to Iraq. After they recrossed the frontier, a 
clash with local detachments of the Iraqi Army occurred. Many of 
the Assyrians were killed and wounded. Some 550 took refuge in 
Syria, where they were interned by the French authorities. As a 
result of this incident, passions were inflamed on both sides. A 
violent agitation convulsed Iraq. It culminated in the wholesale 
massacre of Assyrian men in Simmel on August 11, 1933, while 
in sixty neighboring villages robbing and looting continued during 
the following days. Lieutenant Colonel A.S. Stafford, British Ad- 
ministrative Inspector in Iraq, gives a blood-curdling eye-witness 
account of the Simmel massacre: "Machine gunners set up their 
guns outside the windows of the houses in which the Assyrians had 
taken refuge, and . . . fired among them until not a man was left 
standing in the shambles." 70 Women were ripped open with knives 
and then made sport of while they were in a state of agony. Little 
girls of nine were raped and burned alive. The survivors, some 
1,500, mostly women and children, were sent by the Iraqi Govern- 
ment to a camp at Mosul. 71 

These tragic events convinced all the parties involved that the 
Assyrian problem in Iraq . was beyond local remedy. The Iraqi 
Government impressed upon the Council of the League of Nations 
that it was essential to provide a new home for those Assyrians 
"who wished to leave or were unable peaceably to be incorporated 
into the Iraqi State." 72 The Council was unanimously of the same 
opinion. On September 15, 1933 it set up a Committee of Six to 

74 Population Transfers in Asia 

prepare a scheme for transfer and permanent settlement of the Iraqi 
Assyrian community. 

"From October i 933 to the middle of 1935," reports an informa- 
tion publication of the League of Nations, "the Committee searched 
the world for a suitable place in which to settle the Assyrian people, 

and „T3 erC ' S n0t 3 continent in which "did not consider possibili- 
ties." Investigation commissions were sent to the state of Parana 
m Brazil and to British Guiana. The Parana report was favorable, 
but the project had to be abandoned owing to the adoption by the 
Brazilian Parliament of a law restricting immigration. The investi- 
gation in British Guiana led to the conclusion that it is "more than 
doubtful whether the Assyrians could be settled there on a suffi- 
ciently large scale." 74 

The Committee, therefore, concentrated its attention on the pos- 
sibilities of transfer and settlement of the Assyrians in Syria, where 
a precedent had already been established in 1934 when the 550 As- 
syrians, who had taken refuge there in August 1933, were settled 
provisionally in the valley of Upper Khabur. There was a further 
influx, and by September 1935 some six thousand Assyrians were 
living in the Khabur area; they were rapidly becoming self-support- 
ing as regards the more important foodstuffs. 76 

Both Turkey and Iraq were, however, averse to the mass setde- 
ment of Assyrians in Khabur which was in proximity to their fron- 
tiers. The French authorities finally agreed to allow the permanent 
establishment of the Assyrians (not only of those who had been 
provisionally settled in Khabur, but also of those who had remained 
in Iraq and wished to settle elsewhere) in the sparsely populated 
and marshy Ghab plain in the Alaouite territory. This area had the 
advantage of being remote from the Turkish and Iraqi frontiers, 
while the immediate neighbors of the prospective Assyrian settlers 
were Christian groups. It was also stressed that the administrative 
authority to which they would be ultimately subject was the se- 
parate state of Latakia, administered by a French Governor and 
inhabited almost exclusively by non-Moslem groups. Some 24,000 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 75 

Assyrians then in the Mosul area— even those who had property 
and did not complain of conditions— expressed the unconditional 
wish to leave for the Ghab "without asking for any details of their 
future settlement." Similar results were registered at Kirkuk and 
Baghdad. The Assyrians were ready to go. The Iraqi Government 
was ready to let them go and even offered a contribution of 
£125,000 ($500,000), calculated on a basis of £10 for every Assyrian 
leaving Iraq up to 12,500 persons. 78 Later it doubled this 
offer." The cost of the whole Ghab settlement scheme was cal- 
culated at £1,075,000 ($4,300,000), of which some £937,000 were se- 
cured by contributions promised by the French, British and Iraqi 
Governments, as well as by the League of Nations. 78 

The Information Section of the League of Nations hopefully 
stated early in 1935 that the League "has now initiated and helped 
to finance a scheme for their (Assyrian) transfer from Iraq and 
settlement in the Levant states— a work of humanity and appease- 
ment." 79 The Khabur settlement was considered a temporary 
expedient, pending the completion of the Ghab scheme. 

The situation, however, completely and abruptly changed in the 
spring of 1935, when the French announced their decision to apply 
for the termination of the French Mandate in Syria. 80 In view of 
the growing nationalist feeling among the Syrian Arabs, who bit- 
terly opposed the establishment of another Christian minority in 
the country, the prospects for successful settlement of the Assyrians 
in the Ghab area were practically eliminated. 

The League's Committee for the settlement of Assyrians was 
thus forced to recommend to the Council the definite abandonment 
of the Ghab scheme. On July 4, 1936, the Council approved this 
recommendation. It instructed the Committee to study the possi- 
bilities of "setdement elsewhere than in Iraq of the Assyrians of 
Iraq who still wished to leave that country." But all these studies 
and investigations proved fruitless. The Committee, therefore, 
reached the definite conclusion that the setdement outside of Iraq 
of those Assyrians who still remained there did not at that time 

7*> Population Transfers in Asia 

seem to be practicable. It stated further that it was impossible to 
arrange for the transfer of the 8,800 Assyrians settled in the Khabur 
valley or in Syria. 81 

Thus, the transfer of Assyrians reached a blind alley. The League 
of Nations Council failed in its efforts to secure the settlement of 
some 25,000 to 30,000 Assyrians who had since 1919 been the object 
of international interest and attention. Admitting its failure, the 
Resettlement Committee decided that the Assyrians who remained 
in Iraq would "have to continue to reside in Iraq," and the Com- 
mittee would "not be called to deal with them; these Assyrians 
should, as far as possible, become incorporated in the Iraqi popula- 
tion as ordinary citizens of the Iraqi State." 82 The League's Coun- 
cil took note of the vague declaration of the Iraqi Foreign Minister 
that the Assyrian community in Iraq will "enjoy the benefits of the 
declaration on the protection of minorities signed by the Iraqi 
Government ... on May 19, 1932.' 

, "83 

It was very easy for the League of Nations' Resettlement Com- 
mittee to decree that the Assyrians should "become incorporated in 
the Iraqi population." The implementation of this pious recom- 
mendation proved to be much more complicated. All students of 
Middle Eastern affairs are unanimous in stating that there is deep 
hatred and distrust between the Assyrian people and the Iraqi Mos- 
lem Arabs. This bad feeling increased in intensity after the out- 
break of World War II. The Iraqi Arabs, like the Arabs in Syria, 
Egypt, Palestine and elsewhere, did not expect the Allies' victory 
and were completely pro-Axis. Brigadier Glubb, the Commander 
of the Transjordan Arab Legion, openly admits that in the whole 
Middle East, from Libya to the Indian border, "every Arab was 
convinced that we were done for . . . Every Arab force previously 
organized by us mutinied and refused to fight for us, or faded away 
in desertion." 84 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 77 

The Assyrians, like the Jews, took a diametrically different atti- 
tude. They staked their all on an Allied victory, and they acted 
accordingly. In Iran they placed at the disposal of the Allied 
Powers a large number of efficient and reliable transport workers 
for transportation of American lend-lease goods to Soviet Russia. 
When the German armies stood at the gates of the Caucasus, thou- 
sands of Assyrians volunteered to join the Red Army and to play 
their part in stemming the German advance. And in Iraq they 
enthusiastically responded to the appeal of the British authorities 
and voluntarily joined the Royal Air Force ground forces at the 
meager pay of three pounds a month. They guarded airdromes, 
ammunition dumps and other important war materials, as well as 
lines of communication in the Middle and Near Eastern countries, 
among a deeply hostile Arab population. They also took an active 
part in the Mediterranean and Southern European theaters of war. 
This attitude earned the Assyrians the violent hatred of the Iraqi 
Arab nationalists. This hatred came to a climax during the no- 
torious pro-Axis coup organized in May, 1941 by the government of 
Rashid Ali al Gailani in Baghdad. It is generally conceded that 
Assyrian Levies, numbering about eight hundred, bore the brunt 
of the attack by an 18,000 strong Iraqi Army against the British- 
held Habbaniya airfield, and, together with small Jewish units 
from Palestine, saved that highly strategic point of British resist- 
ance. Thereby they averted a major catastrophe to the Allied posi- 
tion in the entire Middle East at a time when the Reich's fortunes 
were at their highest point. The defeat of the anti-British rebellion 
was enthusiastically greeted by the Jews and the Assyrians. An 
anti-Jewish pogrom followed instantly, and some five hundred Jews 
were killed. Heavy losses inflicted by the Assyrian Levies on the 
Iraqi Army when the latter attacked Habbaniya were also not for- 
gotten. The families of the dead Iraqi soldiers developed a violent 
personal grudge against the Assyrians and did not conceal their 
grim determination to pay off as soon as an opportunity presented 

7** Population Transfers in Asia 

The situation became increasingly unbearable. After the an- 
nouncement of the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq, the 
Assyrians lived in permanent fear of physical extermination. Some 
of them are still in the employment, and on the payroll, of the 
British Air Force. But this does not in the least alleviate their ap- 
prehensions. They are unanimous in their desire to be transferred 
to some Christian country where they will be able to live in safety. 
In the early autumn of 1944, they began an underground action for 
a unified representation to set their case before the world. Fearing 
Arab or British intereference, they kept their plans secret and placed 
all their faith in the United States of America. They sincerely be- 
lieve that the services they rendered the Allies during the first and 
second World Wars and their sacrifices for the Allied cause entitle 
them to appropriate representation among the United Nations. 
They demand that the Assyrian question be placed on the agenda 
of all United Nations' conferences and they are confident that the 
victorious democracies "will find them a place to settle somewhere 
in the world." An Assyrian delegation headed by Patriarch Mar 
Eshai Shimun XXIII came to the United Nations Conference at 
San Francisco and petitioned for "living space for the surviving 
Assyrians." But they failed in their efforts to enlist the support of 
the Conference. Nor were they successful in making the headlines 
in the press, despite a case the merits of which no one can gainsay. 
At San Francisco the representatives of a small, poor and homeless 
people were scarcely noticed. 

Later attempts by the Patriarch Eshai Shimun to draw attention 
to the fate of his people, proved no more successful. 

On May 17, 1946, he presented to the U.N. Secretary General a 
memorandum on a "well-planned systematic persecution in the 
form of massacre, conducted by certain units of the Iranian mili- 
tary forces against the Assyrian Christians in the district of Rezaieh, 
Iran." Five months later, on October 17th, he was informed that 
his communication "will be referred to the Commission of Human 
Rights for the information of its members when the Commission 

Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 79 

next convenes." 86 The Patriarch's appeal was buried in the archives 
of the Commission. 

A year later, the Patriarch once again asked the United Nations 
for an investigation of the plight of Assyrians in Iran and Iraq, 
where, he said in his petition, the "Assyrian and other peoples were 
sacrificed on the altar of oil," massacred and subjected to systematic 
persecution. Twenty-four Assyrian villages, the petition charged, 
were wholly or partially looted and burned in the Iranian province 
of Azerbaijan during the month of December, 1946, and some hun- 
dreds of Assyrians were brutally slaughtered by Iranian forces under 
Colonel Sarhang Zanghanai. Assyrian priests were cut to pieces, 
women and little girls were raped or paraded nude on the streets, nu- 
merous men tortured to death. "If a repetition of these tragic events 
is to be prevented," insisted Patriarch Shimun, "the Assyrian ques- 
tion as a whole must be taken under the immediate consideration 
of the United Nations with a view to finding a lasting solution to 
the problem as a whole." 86 

This appeal, too, remained unanswered. The United Nations 
has done as little for the Assyrian people as the defunct League of 
Nations in its time. 

Even more strikingly, perhaps, the British Empire, which is so 
much indebted to the Assyrians, has manifested no willingness at 
all to help them. Replying to the interpellation by Mr. Skeffington- 
Lodge, Mr. McNeil openly told the House of Commons on behalf 
of the British Labor Government that "there can be no question" 
of resettling the Assyrians under the groundnuts scheme in the 
British-controlled territory of Tanganyika. While acknowledging the 
failure of the Assyrian attempt "to become good Iraqis," Mr. Mc- 
Neil declared : "When we have upon our hands so many desperate 
problems of resettlement of victims whose state is even more pre- 
carious and desperate, it is obvious to everyone in the House that 
it would be rash, and even dishonest, to say that I see any obvious 
opportunity of resetdement ..." 

The valiant Assyrians, heirs to a great civilization, fighting allies 

8o Population Transfers in Asia 

of the western democracies, are thus, in the words of Patriarch 
Shimun, "being repaid for their loyalty by a series of broken prom- 
ises and eleven massacres since 1914 . . . They are the innocent vic- 
tims of power politics and their case constitutes the most glaring 
example of broken pledges and shameful betrayal." Their case 
constitutes, 3s well, one of the most pathetic examples of the acute 
need for a solution based on population transfer. 


1. Simon Vrattian, Armenia, and the Armenian Question, Boston, 1943. 
p. 162 

2. S. Sulkewich, Territoria i naseleniye USSR, Moscow, 1930 

3. E. Z. Volkov, Dinami\a Harodonaseleniya SSR za 80 let, Moscow, 
1930, pp. 35, 69, 73, 86, 92, 98 

4. Sir John Hope Simpson, The Refugee Problem, London, 1939, pp.36-37 ~ 

5. USSR Census. 1926, Vol.48, pp. 62-63. 

6. V. Quisling, "Notes on recent arrivals of Armenian refugees in Armen- 
ia (192?)", Scheme for the Settlement of Armenian Refugees (League 
of Nations C.699, M.264, 1926, IV) p. 62 

7. Simpson, I.e., Some of the groups who have settled in Soviet Armenia 
have built towns and villages of their own through the financial assis- 
tance of their compatriots in the United States, and gave them the names 
of cities in Turkish Asia Minor from which they originally came — for in- 
stance, New Sebastia, New Arapkir, etc. G.H. PaMan, Landmarks in 
Armenian History, New York, 1942, p.86. 

8. Simpson, op.cit., p.?58. 

9. Scheme for the Settlement of Armenian Refugees, League of Nations, 
Doc. C.669, M.264, 1926, IV (1927). Also: Simpson, op.cit, p. 56 

10. L. L. Lorwin, "Internation Economic Development: Public Works and 
Other Problems," HRPB Technical Paper, No. 7 (1942), p. *9 

11. A.H. Hourani, Minorities in the Arab World, London-Toronto-New 
York, 1947, p, 37 

12. Letter to the Hew Torfc Times (November 22, 1947) by Armin Ali- 
ghanian. Chairman of the Armenian National Committee 

13. Jewish Agency Digest of Press and Events, Jerusalem, October 26, 1947 

14. According to the 1933 census, they have an average population of 10.* 

1J. Vrattian, op.cit., p.102-103 

16. Armenian National Committee, A Memorandum Relating to the Ar- 
menian Question (April 1945) 

Transfer of "Middle East Christian Minorities 8i 

17. The Case of the Armenian People. Memorandum td the United Na- 
tions Conference on International Organisation in San Francisco, New 
York 1945 

18. Soviet Home Service, July 22, 194? 

19. Baikfir (Boston Armenian daily), January 4, 1946. — (The figure of \ l /l 
million is obviously an exaggeration.) 

20. Lraper (New York Armenian tri-weekly), January 24, 1946 

21. Haireni\ (Boston Armenian daily), March 14, 1946; Bailor, March 
9, 1946, Lraper, March 7, 1946 

22. Published in Haireni\, March 1, 1946 

2J. Letter to Mr. Trygve Lee, Secretary General of the United Nations, by 
the Conference of Armenian Compatriotic Societies (May 3, 1946) 

24. Rev. Charles Vertanes, "Lo, A Dispersed People Returns to Its Home- 
land" in Land 4nd Life, March, 1947 

25. Pravda, December 2, 1945 

26. Vertanes, op.cit. 

27. Armenidtt Bulletin, August 1946 

28. Vertanes, op.cit. — According to the London £conomist (January 11, 
1947) the patriarch of the small Catholic Armenian community (the 
overwhelming majority of Armenians belong to the autonomous Ar- 
menian Orthodox Church) took a stand against repatriation because, 
he said, the Soviet Government demands severance of all relations with 
the Holy See. 

29. William S. Haas, Iran, New York, 1946, p. 172 

30. The Economist, London, January 11, 1947 

31. Vertanes, loc.cit. 

32. Letter to Mr. Trygve Lee 

33. J<<w Yorl^ Times, June LI. 1947 

34. Armenian Bulletin, August 1946 

35. Ibid. 

36. Hourani, opxit., pp. 66-67, 84 

37. Armenian Bulletin, August 1946 

38. G. Devejian, "Beirut-Damascus (Travel Notes)" in Tiew 1 les, Mrw- 
cow, Dec. 17, 1947 

39. Utatistik. Tilligi, vol. XVI, 1942-41, pp. 47-48 

40. Vertanes, op.cit. 

41. yitw Yor\ Times, January 2, 1946 

42. The Jewish Agency Digest, loc.cit. 

43. Vertanes, op.cit. 

44. The Jewish Agency Digest, I.e. 

45. Hew Torit Time*, June 11, 1946 

46. Soviet >Iewi. July 9, September 10, 1947 

47. Ibid., September 10, 1947 

48. Hourani, op.cit., p.49 

!) ; 

82 Population Transfers in Asia 

49. Jewish Agency Digest, October 26, 1947 

50. Hew Tor\ Times. October 20, 1947 

51. Jewish Agency Digest, ob.cit. 
52. Ibid. 

1 1 5 J. Hourani, op.rit., p.103 

54. Jewish Agency Digest, loc.cit. 

55. Le Monde, September 7/8, 1947 

56. Hew York Times, December 5, 1947 

57. Ibid., October 31, 1947 

58. Hew Tor\ Herald Tribune, November 2, 1947 

59. Ibid. 

60. The following description of the resettlement of the repatriates in 
Soviet Armenia is based on the unqualifiedly enthusiastic but funda- 
mentally reliable report of Rev. Charles Vertanes in Land and Life 
(March 1947) 

61. Erevan newspapers have, however, complained that the Armenian re- 
patriates "have not yet realized that during the last thirty years deep 
changes have taken place in the ideology of the population; that they 
obviously "cannot yet get used to a long patriotic work effort" and that 
they will have to be forced to work more. Quoted in Hovoye Rtus^oye 
Slovo. New York, January 20, 1948 

62. The Economist, January 11, 1947 

63. Parliamentary Debates. House of. Commons. June 17, 1948 
League of Rations Questions Ho. 5, "The Settlement of the Assyrians". 
Information Section. Geneva 193 5, p. 3 

Sir John Hope Simpson, The Refugee Problem. Report of a Survey, 
London-New York-Toronto, 1939, p.47 

66. Toynbee, Survey of International Affairs, 1925, Vol. I, p. 501 

67. League of Rations Questions No. 5, p.12 
Jusuf Malek, The British Betrayal of the Assyrians, Chicago, 1936 
p. 205 
League of Hations Questions, No.5, p.15 

70. Lt.-Col. A.S. Stafford, The Tragedy of the Assyrian*, London, 1935 
Pp. 174- 177. 

71. League of Rations Questions, No.5, pp.16-17; Sir John Hope Simpson, 

72. League of Nations. Official Journal, December 1933, p.1645 

73. League of Ration* Questions, No.5, p.22 

74. Ibid. pp. 23-24 

75. League of Hations Documents, C 352, M 179, 1935 VII 

76. Ibid. ' 

77. "The Settlement of the Assyrians" in Information Section, p.44 

78. John Hope Simpson, p. 54 

79. League of Rations ^uestiorw. p.46 . 



Transfer of Middle East Christian Minorities 


80. League of Rations Documents, C 387, M 258, 1937. VHI & C 440, 
1937, VII 

81. Ibid, G 387, M 258, 1937, VII 

82. League of Rations Documents, C 387, M 258, 1937, VII. 

83. Minutes of the Council, September 29, 1917 

84. Somerest de Chair, The Golden Carpet, New York, 1945, p.244 

85. The Hew Beth'Hahreen, March- April 1947, p. 4 

86. Ibid, p.7 




jpRECEDING chapters of this book have dealt with transfers 
that are completed or still in process of implemen- 
tation. The purpose of this study is, however, not only descrip- 
tive and historical. The author believes that many important 
conclusions can and must be drawn from past transfers and that 
the idea underlying any transfer scheme is basically a preventive 
one. If a country, or two countries, or an international body is faced 
with a minority problem which manifestly cannot be solved within 
the existing territorial framework and which, if perpetuated, will 
obviously lead to international complications and possibly to war, 
recourse should be taken at once to the preventive device of trans- 
fer. A transfer scheme loses its point unless it is applied before 
matters have come to an explosive climax and unless it has a scope 
commensurate with the magnitude of the problem. The fallacy 
of "too late and too little" is particularly perilous in the case of 
minority transfers. 

Palestine seems a classic case for quick, decisive transfer action 
as the only constructive method of solving the basic problem 
and preventing extremely dangerous developments. It is a test case 
calling for clear-sightedness, vision, courage and high statesmanship. 

On the eve of the expiration of the Palestine Mandate, British 
statistics put the total number of Arabs, Moslem and Christian, 
in the territory of Western Palestine 1 at 1,225,00a 2 Authoritative 
Jewish sources estimated the number of Jews at over 700,000. The 
Jewish population which comprised 83,790 souls in 1922, increased 
largely through immigration under the terms of the League of 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 85 

Nations Mandate which gave "recognition to the historical con- 
nection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for 
reconstituting their national home in that country." For the Jews 
immigration was a means toward the establishment of a Jewish 
majority in Palestine as the prerequisite for the creation of a Jewish 
State. Leaders of the Zionist movement repeatedly stated that the 
prospective Arab minority would enjoy full civic, religious and 
cultural equality in the future Jewish State. 

The Arabs — at least the politically articulate among them — con- 
sistently opposed Jewish immigration and its political implications. 
They insisted that Palestine was their country and demanded the 
establishment of an independent Arab State there. Anti-Jewish 
riots in 1920, 192 1, 1929 and 1936-39 were the most violent manifes- 
tations of this Arab opposition. The Arab leaders demanded full 
stoppage of Jewish immigration. 

The Arab-Jewish controversy over Palestine, complicated and in- 
tensified by the vacillating policy of the British Mandatory Power, 
grew worse in the course of the last decade, till at the end of World 
War II the Holy Land faced an explosion. The Arab and Jewish 
communities, backed respectively by the neighboring independent 
Arab States and by world Jewry, were more divided than ever. The 
Arabs demanded that all of Palestine be converted into an inde- 
pendent state, ruled by its Arab majority. The Jews demanded that 
a Jewish State be established either in all of Palestine (which im- 
plied a speedy transfer of at least half a million Jewish immigrants 
from other countries to achieve a Jewish majority), or in part of 
the country. It became evident that the aspirations of the two com- 
munities were irreconcilable and that the idea of a bi-national 
Arab-Jewish State, based on equality of the two components, irre- 
spective of their numerical strength, was not practicable. Palestine 
clearly had to become either an Arab State with a Jewish minority 
or a Jewish State with an Arab minority. 

In' an attempt to arrive at a compromise solution, the United Na- 
tions, on November 29, 1947, by a two-thirds majority decided to 

86 Population Transfers in Asia 

partition Palestine into a Jewish State with a population of 538,000 
Jews and 397,000 Arabs, 3 and an Arab State with a population of 
804,000 Arabs and 10,000 Jews; the enclave of Jerusalem was to be 
a neutralized international zone with a population of 105,000 Arabs 
and 100,000 Jews. 

Without going into the merits of the partition scheme as such, 
the author submits that, even if implemented, it merely limits, but 
by no means solves, the crucial and explosive problem of Palestine's 
ethnic minorities. This minority problem, which is a question of 
life and death for the success of any constructive scheme for Pale- 
stine, cannot be solved without resorting to what the late President 
Eduard Benes of Czechoslovakia called "the grim necessity of 

The first time the idea of a Palestine partition, combined with 
transfer and exchange of population, was put forward by any re- 
sponsible body, was in the report of the British Royal Commission 
on Palestine under the chairmanship of Lord Peel, published in 
July, 1937. 3 The report submitted that the Palestine Mandate, as 
voted in 1922 by the League of Nations, was unworkable; it pre- 
sented a carefully elaborated plan for partitioning the country into 
a sovereign and independent Arab State consisting of Transjordan, 
united with some 80 per cent of the territory of Western Palestine, 
and a sovereign and independent Jewish State covering some 20 
per cent of Western Palestine, plus an enclave containing the Holy 
Places of Jerusalem and Bethlehem which would remain under a 
new Mandate regime. 

In the belief of the Royal Commission, this partition scheme of- 
fered the only constructive and permanent solution of the Arab- 
Jewish conflict over Palestine. The Commission was, however, well 
aware of the fact that the demarcation line between the two States, 
which had been drawn with the intention of creating— as far as 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 87 
possible— ethnically uniform territories, had left considerable Arab 
and Jewish minorities in the proposed states. The Jewish minority 
in the Arab State was relatively small. According to the figures 
given by the Royal Commission, there were only some 1,250 Jews. 
The Arab minority in the proposed Jewish State was, however, in- 
comparably larger. It comprised about 225,000 persons. 4 The Com- 
mission insistently emphasized (p. 390) that "the existence of these 
minorities clearly constitutes the most serious hindrance to the 
smooth and successful operation of partition. The 'minority prob- 
lem' has become only too familiar in recent years, whether in Eu- 
rope or in Asia. It is one of the most troublesome and intractable 
products of post-war nationalism; and nationalism in Palestine, as 
we have seen, is at least as intense a force as it is anywhere in the 
world. . .If the settlement is to be clean and final, this question of 
the minorities must be boldly faced and firmly dealt with. It calls 
for the highest statesmanship on the part of all concerned." 

The Royal Commission suggested that "an instructive precedent" 
for the solution of this thorny problem was afforded by the ex- 
change of the Greek and Turkish populations after the Greco- 
Turkish war in 1923. It insistently recommended the acceptance 
of a similar solution with regard to the Jewish and Arab minorities 
in the prospective Arab and Jewish States. The Commission ex- 
pressed the hope that in view of the manifest advantage for both 
nations of "reducing the opportunities of future friction to the ut- 
most," the Arab and Jewish leaders "might show the same high 
statesmanship as that of the Turks and the Greeks and make the 
same bold decision for the sake of peace." 

As to whether the proposed transfer should be voluntary or com- 
pulsory, the Commission took a practical stand. With regard to the 
hill country of North Galilee with its wholly Arab population, the 
Commission believed that it might not be necessary to effect a 
greater exchange of land and population than could be effected on 
a voluntary basis; but, as regards plains, including Beisan, and 
Jewish colonies in the prospective Arab State, "it should be part of 

Population Transfers in Asia 

'. ; :-£$a 

the agreement that in the last resort the exchange would be conp 
pulsory." (p. 391) ^ 

The British Government fully endorsed the scheme recommend;! 
ed by the. Royal Commission as "the best and most hopeful solution? 
of the (Palestine) deadlock" (Cmd 5513). The partition plan wail 
discussed at length in both Houses of the British Parliament on July! 
20 and 2r, 1937. Such distinguished representatives of all three par-l 
ties, as Winston Churchill, Lord Samuel, Lloyd George and Lord\ 
Strabolgi, sharply opposed the entire partition scheme. The transfer^ 
issue played a very slight role in the debate. The Secretary of State! 
for the Colonies (Mr. Ormsby-Gore), did not mention it at all;I 
In the House of Commons, Colonel Wedgwood and Mr. de Roths-It 
child, who presented the Jewish case, mildly opposed the transferff 
solution. On the contrary, Earl Winterton, who spoke for the 11 
Government, and Sir A. Wilson, known for his pro-Arab tenden-"", 
cies, were sympathetic. 6 In the House of Lords, Viscount Samuel! 
spoke sharply against the idea of transfer, while another Jewish^ 
Lord, Lord Melchett, advocated the mass transfer of East European || 
Jews into Palestine. 6 

In the course of the thirty-second (extraordinary) session of the l*jj 
Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations whichff 
opened on July 30, 1937, and dealt extensively with the partition! 
scheme, close attention was given to the suggested transfer plan.l 
The accredited representative of the British Mandatory Govern- % 
ment, W. G. A. Ormsby-Gore, warmly advocated the transfer pro-jl 
posal. The members of the Mandates Commission manifested no 
opposition towards the idea in itself and expressed concern only as J| 
regards the compulsory or voluntary character of the transfer. The | 
Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Orts, stressed that he "would be', 
glad to have it confirmed that in the event of the creation of thef 
two new states, the proposed transfer of the rural Arab population; 
would only be effected if those populations freely consented." Mr;| 
Ormsby-Gore replied that "he would hesitate to envisage any ob-l 
ligatory transfer of Arabs from the Jewish State into the Arabf 

;; The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 89 
State, save when the Government of the latter State agreed." 7 

In a "Preliminary Opinion" submitted to the Council of the 
League of Nations the Mandates Commission admitted that trans- 
fer of population "might be necessary if there was a partition;" it 
stressed that the problem was a "delicate" one and that "in order to 
guarantee that the advantages of such a transfer should outweigh 
the disadvantages, particular care would have to be given to ensure 
that it was carried out with the greatest fairness." 

The principle of population transfer in application to Palestine 
was thus basically endorsed by the most authoritative international 

There were, however, three fundamental weaknesses in the Royal 
Commission's transfer scheme which finally doomed the scheme 
in its entirety. 

Even though it spoke of an Arab-Jewish exchange of population, 

the Royal Commission actually proposed a one-way transfer of 

Arabs. The 1,250 prospective Jewish transferees from the Arab State 

could not be balanced against the 225,000 Arabs to be transferred 

from the Jewish State. This ratio of almost 1 : 200 was conducive to 

the idea that there was not only inequality in numbers (a usual 

phenomenon in most known cases of population exchange), but 

inequity in the very approach to, and treatment of, the two ethnic 

k groups involved. In the second place, the Royal Commission's 

|: scheme provided for the transfer of Arabs from the prospective 

'- Jewish State to the prospective Arab State only, without envisaging 

their resettlement in other, already existing, large Arab States with 

J insufficient population. Finally, the lack of clarity about the volun- 

I tary or compulsory character of the transfer, jeopardized the work- 

|: ability of the entire partition solution. 

I After having obtained the consent of the League of Nations to 
I further study of the partition plan, the British Government ap- 
| pointed a special Partition Commission (often called the Woodhead 
I Commission, after the name of its chairman), whose terms of refer- 
§ encc included the examination of the "possibility of voluntary ex- 

90 Population Transfers in Asia 

changes of land and population, and the prospects of providing by 
works of land development room for further settlement to meet the 
needs of persons desiring to move from one area to another." 8 The 
report of the Woodhead Commission, submitted in October 1938, 
rejected the partition scheme as proposed by the Peel (Royal) Com- 
mission. The results of investigations made on behalf of the Com- 
mission in Beersheba, the Jordan Valley, and Transjordan in the 
prospective Arab State (where large areas of sparsely populated 
country were supposed to be available for the resettlement of the 
Arab transferees, if water could be provided for irrigation) proved 
to be "most disappointing." Thus, no inducement could be en- 
visaged to influence the Arab minority to move there from the 
future Jewish State. 

The Partition Commission came to the conclusion that there is 
"little possibility of the voluntary exchange of population between 
the Jewish State and the Arab State," and continued: "The Royal 
Commission assumed that provision would be made for the transfer 
of the greater part of the Arab population in the Jewish State, if 
necessary by compulsion under a scheme to be agreed between both 
states. But in his despatch of the 23rd December, 1937, your pre- 
decessor made it clear that His Majesty's Government have not 
accepted the proposal for compulsory transfer; and we have found 
it impossible to assume that the minority problem will be solved 
by a voluntary transfer of population. It is largely because of the 
gravity of the situation that would thus be created that we have 
felt obliged to reject the Royal Commission's plan, under, which 
at the outset the number of Arabs in the Jewish State would be 
almost equal to the number of Jews." 9 

The majority of the Woodhead Commission offered a partition 
plan of their own (the so-called "plan C"), which reduced the 
territory of the future Jewish State from 20 per cent to 5 per cent of 
Western Palestine (300,000 acres in all) and its Arab minority to 
54,400, while the Jewish minority in the Arab State was increased to 
8,900. No transfer or exchange of minorities was envisaged in the 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 91 
majority report of the Woodhead Commission. 

The report was published on November 9, 1938, and on the same 
day the British Government issued a Statement of Policy an- 
nouncing that in the light of the evidence contained in it they had 
reached the conclusion that a solution on partition lines was im- 

The transfer plan was, however, not forgotten among British 
parliamentary circles concerned with Palestine. In both Houses 
the issue was raised in the course of the debate following the 
Government's abandonment of the partition plan. Examples of 
successful population transfers were approvingly quoted in the 
House of Commons by Sir Walter Smiles in a rather pro-Arab 
speech, while Captain Cazalet, an ardent champion of the Jewish 
cause, indicated the possibility of transfering Palestine Arabs to 
Iraq. 10 In the House of Lords, the transfer idea was strongly ad- 
vocated by the leader of the Labor opposition, Lord Snell, and 
vigorously opposed by Viscount Swinton who was for four years 
Colonial Secretary. Speaking about the Royal Commission plan to 
transfer some 250,000 Arabs from the proposed Jewish State, Lord 
Swinton indignantly asked: "Where on earth they were to be trans- 
ferred, it passes the wit of man to understand." 11 Nine months 
later, in the course of a debate on Palestine in the House of Com- 
mons, Mr. Alfred Duff Cooper, formerly First Lord of the British 
Admiralty, resumed the issue and vigorously advocated a radical 
solution of the Arab-Jewish conflict on Palestine by way of a trans- 
fer of the Palestine Arab population to the other Arab countries. 12 

The United Nations resolution of November 29, 1947, left un- 
answered the same crucial question which defeated the partition 
scheme of the Royal Commission ten years earlier. The Jewish 
State was left with an Arab minority of 350,000 to 397,000, 39 to 42 

92 Population Transfers in Asia 

per cent of its population. This strongly nationalistic Arab com- 
munity, embittered by decades of Arab-Jewish political friction, 
permanently subject to irredentist propaganda from outside and 
confident of spiritual, financial, and possible military support on 
the part of the neighboring Arab States, could hardly be expected to 
reconcile itself to a minority status within the new Jewish State. 
In spite of the far-reaching guarantees by the State of Israel of 
their economic, political, religious and cultural rights and interests, 
nationalistic Arab groups were more than likely to continue to con- 
sider all of Palestine an Arab country and to persist in attempting 
to overthrow "Jewish supremacy." The young Jewish State would 
then from the very beginning be saddled with an acute minority 
problem which would inevitably become a permanent source of 
friction and conflict. Any suppression of Arab subversive activities 
would inevitably provoke anger and intervention on the part of 
the neighboring Arab States, and retaliation against their own 
Jewish minorities. 13 The peace of the entire Middle East would be 

The Arab-Jewish controversy over Palestine has thus emerged 
in its undiluted political essence, purged of the economic arguments 
which have for so long obscured its true nature. Previous attempts 
to motivate, or at least to explain, uncompromising Arab hostility 
to Jewish mass immigration into Palestine and to the eventual 
establishment of a Jewish State, on the ground of the economic 
harm allegedly caused by Jewish colonization to the interests of the 
local Arab population, have been convincingly refuted by the Royal 
Commission in 1937, by the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry 
in 1946 and the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine 
in 1947. All these authoritative bodies agreed that the economic 
position of the Arab population, regarded as a whole, was in no 
way prejudiced by the influx of Jews and that, in fact, the Arabs 
benefited from the establishment of a Jewish National Home. 
There is certainly no incompatibility between the economic interests 
of the local Arab population and the establishment of a Jewish 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 93 
State in Palestine, open to the influx of Jewish repatriates. Even 
the most ardent opponents of Jewish statehood have ceased to use 
the argument that Jewish mass immigration leads to impoverish- 
ment and dispossession of Palestine's present Arab inhabitants or 
prejudice to their eventual progeny. As far as the economic ab- 
sorptive capacity of the country is concerned, both nations can live 
and develop peaceably and in full harmony. 

Yet, in the Middle East-no less than in Europe-considerations 
of political or nationalistic "absorptive capacity" play a determining 
role. The Royal Commission in 1937 came to the conclusion that 
'the core of their (Arab) cause, it must be stressed, is political." 
The Commission pointed out that all politically articulate groups 
among the Palestinian Arabs refused to become an ethnic minority 
in a country ruled by a Jewish majority and that they would con- 
tinue to do so even if it could be mathematically proved that they 
had nothing to fear and much to gain as to their future economic, 
religious, cultural and civic status. Fully endorsing the Commis- 
sion's view, the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava told the House of 
Lords on behalf of the British Government that the Arab-Jewish 
conflict in Palestine was fundamentally "the result of conflicting 
ideals and not of conflicting interests;" he exposed "the fallacy. . . on 
which Jewish elements have based many of their arguments... 
imagining that this matter can be solved on economic lines. It 
is no good to tell the Arab that his birth-rate has gone up by so 
many ^thousands, or that he is able to obtain goods at a lower 
price." 14 Five months later the then Secretary of State for the Col- 
onies, Malcolm MacDonald, also stressed that "the Arabs were not 
free to consider dispassionately the benefits which their country 
was getting from Jewish capital and activity. The material im- 
provement was overlaid by a more serious consideration. . . They 
(the Arabs) were afraid that if Jewish immigration continued in- 
definitely this energetic, wealthy incoming people would dominate 
them numerically, economically, politically and in every way in the 

land of their birth.' 

94 Population Transfers in Asia 

On July 20, 1939, in the House of Commons, Lt. Col. Sir Arnold 
Wilson, presenting the Arab case, made no attempt to deny "the 
material benefit which has accrued to the inhabitants o£ Palestine" 
as a result of Jewish immigration. But," he added, "I lived long 
enough among Persians and Arabs to know that they are not ex- 
clusively concerned with material benefits. . . Nationalism is a grow- 
ing force, with its good as well as bad sides. There is no possibility 
whatever of the Arabs accepting, as consolation for the loss of their 
homeland, a few more cinemas and a few more dentists, and two 
pairs of shoes where before they had one pair or none. There is 
no solution by that road here or elsewhere." 18 

By the end of the interwar period this fundamental political 
aspect of the Palestine problem had converted the Arab-Jewish con- 
troversy over the Holy Land into an apparently insoluble issue. 
Once the economic level was abandoned (and it has definitely been 
abandoned by the Arab spokesmen themselves, the alleged material 
harm to the Arabs being utilized in the discussion only as accidental 
and accessory argument) , the Arab viewpoint became as unshake- 
able as the Jewish. The Jews claim Palestine in order to escape their 
age-old minority status all over the world: the Royal Commission, 
for example, fully grasped the essence of Zionism in emphasizing 
that "escape from minority life" is the real motive of the Jewish 
regeneration movement. It is, therefore, ethically and politi- 
cally impossible for Jews or anyone else lightly to dismiss another 
ethnic group*s passionate refusal to become a minority. Malcolm 
MacDonald, speaking on June 16, 1939, at the thirty-sixth session of 
the Permanent Mandates Commission, put the issue quite clearly 
and blundy: "There had to be a minority in Palestine, if not 
of Jews, then of Arabs." 16 

It is true that the Arabs possess several independent national 
states and that there is no essential hardship in the fact that in 
territory constituting less than 1 per cent of the Arab inhabited ^ 
area of the Middle East, an Arab population of 1,200,000-^3 per 
cent of the total population of the Arab States— would have to live 


The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 95 
as a minority in a non-Arab State. Almost every nation of the 
modern world, even the mightiest, has splinters living in someone 
else's state. This is the usual rather than the exceptional situation. 
Moreover, the Jewish majority is, in fact, firmly determined to guar- 
antee their Arab co-citizens full political, cultural and religious 
equality and to treat them not as subjects but as equals in a com- 
mon motherland. The State of Israel, since its inception, has been 
exemplary in relationship to its Arab minority; full provision has 
been made in its draft constitution for equal rights and cultural and 
religious freedom for Arab citizens of Israel. 17 

Nevertheless, Palestinian Arabs can quite justifiably claim that 
even the best protected and most prosperous minority is still a 
minority, and that they, therefore, are not willing to live as a 
minority in a Jewish-governed country. Alvin Johnson, President 
of the Institute of World Affairs, in a letter to the New Yor\ Times 
(October 10, 1947) bluntly put the crucial question: "Will the Arab 
minority within the Jewish State be content with Jewish law, Jew- 
ish educational provisions, Jewish administration of social services?" 
In his testimony before the Royal Commission, the Zionist leader, 
V. Jabotinsky, while categorically denying that becoming a minority 
would cause any personal hardship to individual Arabs, admitted: 
"If you suggest disappointment of the Palestine Arabs as a whole 
with the prospect of a country they call Palestine, which they think 
is one of their national states, becoming a Jewish State, I quite ad- 
mit there is disappointment." 18 

We are thus confronted with a clearly oudined conflict between 
two ethically well-founded claims, the Jewish and the Arab. It was 
again the Royal Commission which said, as long ago as 1937, that 
the conflict which had arisen in Palestine between the Jews and 
Arabs was "not a conflict between right and wrong, but a conflict 
between right and right." 

The conclusion Arab spokesmen draw from their refusal to be- 

96 Population Transfers in Asia 

come an ethnic minority, is that the United Nations resolution 
should be revised and the whole of Palestine be proclaimed a 
unitary Arab State. 

Irrespective of the merits and feasibility of this Arab scheme, it 
offers no workable solution for the actual problem. It would mere- 
ly supplant the problem of a powerful and intransigent Arab minor- 
ity in a Jewish State by the problem of a powerful and intransigent 
Jewish minority in an Arab State — unless, of course, one admits the 
possibility of mass genocide. 

Such a state would possess over 700,000 Jews, over one-third of 
the total population. The first step of a prospective Arab Govern- 
ment would be to stop any further Jewish immigration and thus 
convert Palestine Jewry into a permanent minority — one more 
Jewish minority splinter added to the numerous Jewish minority 
groups scattered over the world. The difference would consist only 
in that Jewish minorities in all other countries resulted from spo- 
radic, involuntary migrations, without any thought of, or rightful 
claim to, the establishment of an independent national existence, 
while the hundreds of thousands of Jews who came to Palestine 
after the first World War did so in the hope of escaping the minor- 
ity status which had been their people's lot for centuries in every 
part of the world. They came, also, on the strength of an inter- 
national undertaking pledging Great Britain to help them in "re- 
constituting their national home" in Palestine. Speaking about 
the British White Paper of 1939, the then Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, the highest moral authority of the Church of England, stated 
in the House of Lords that it would result in "reducing the Jews 
to the status of a permanent minority in a preponderantly Arab 
State. . . I venture to think," said the Archbishop, "that is was pre- 
cisely from this permanent minority status that they (the Jews) had 
hoped to escape;" they hoped for "a sphere of their own, where 
they could. . .be masters of their own destiny and affairs," where 
"they had some autonomous control." 18 
Now that the State of Israel has functioned so dynamically and 

jv The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 97 

effectively since May 14, 1948, it is inconceivable that the Jews of 
Palestine should reconcile themselves to minority status in an Arab 
State. For their part, Arab leaders have declared that they are not 
I prepared to accept on equal footing any considerable Jewish minor- 
ity within a Palestine Arab State. When asked by the Palestine 
Royal Commission in 1937 whether he thought that Palestine "can 
assimilate and digest" the 400,000 Jews who were at that time in 
the country, the Mufti of Jerusalm, the recognized spiritual and 
political leader of Arab nationalists, answered "No." To the next 
question whether "some of them would have to be removed by a 
process kindly or painful as the case my be," the Mufti answered: 
"We must leave all this to the future." 20 

This ominous attitude towards an eventual Jewish minority 
still dominates the mentality of Arab leaders. In a statement made 
on September 29, 1947 to the United Nations General Assembly's 
Committee on the Palestine question, Jamal el Husscini, on behalf 
of the Palestine Arab delegation, promised that "the Arab State 
of Palestine will protect the legitimate rights and interests of all 
: minorities." 21 The meaning of the qualifying adjective "legitimate" 
was not specified. The report presented on November 19 to the 
above mentioned Committee by a subcommittee composed exclu- 
sively of representatives of Arab and/or Moslem states, made citi- 
zenship in the proposed unitary Arab State dependent upon the 
condition that "the applicant should be a legal resident of Palestine 
for a continuous period to be determined by the (Arab dominated) 
Constituent Assembly." 22 The meaning of this provision was sub- 
sequently made clear by Mr. Emil Ghory, outstanding member of 
I the Palestine Arab delegation to the United Nations. When asked 
what would become of a Jewish minority in an independent Arab 
State, Mr. Ghory declared that those who had been in Palestine 
I or whose families had resided there, before 1918 would be given 
1 equal treatment with the Arabs, while others would be considered 
■j: aliens. 28 Thus, over 630,000 Jews, 90 per cent of the Jewish com- 
j munity, would be simply disfranchised in an Arab Palestine. 

98 Population Transfers in Asia 

On the other hand, even if Arab leaders should consent to guar- 
antee the most far-reaching minority rights, their assurances could 
hardly be considered adequate. That the European treaties for pro- 
tection of minorities failed completely during the interwar period, 
is a truism. There is certainly no reason to believe that unilateral 
guarantees by a Palestine Arab State would prove more effective. 
The situation of all ethnic and religious minorities in the Arab 
countries is known to be extremely precarious, and even their physi- 
cal security has been increasingly threatened in the period since 
World War I. Last summer in Amsterdam at the First Assembly 
of the World Council of Churches, S. A. Morrison, a leading figure 
in Protestant missionary work in Egypt, said in trenchant words: 

Orthodox Islamic doctrine has always assigned a position of 
permanent inferiority to the non-Moslem, be he Christian or 
Jew. Hopes had been entertained that with the adoption by 
Near East Governments of Western Constitutions and the in- 
troduction of democratic instruments of government, all forms 
of discrimination on religious grounds would be abolished, and 
equality of citizenship and of social and economic opportun- 
ity established for all, irrespective of their race or religion. 

Such hopes have in the main been belied by the facts. Re- 
action to the "imperialistic policy" of the Western Powers since 
the close of World War I has led to the resuscitation of Islam 
as a focus of political and religious unity, and the prevailing 
tendency to identify nationalism and Arab culture with the 
Islamic faith has not only prompted measures for the enforce- 
ment of cultural homogeneity based on Islam, but has created 
a conception of citizenship, in which the Christian and the Jew 
appear to have no legitimate place. 

The outstanding example of this trend is to be found in 
Egypt, the country I know best, where economic discrimination 
against the non-Moslem obtains both in Government service 
and in private trade, and where Christian children in the Gov- ' 
ernment elementary schools are exposed under the system of 
compulsory education to regular Qur'anic teaching. Litde" 
wonder, then, that hundreds of Copts declare themselves Mos- 
lems every year, seldom if ever out of conviction, almost always J\ 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 99 

for economic or matrimonial reasons— though many of them 
seek later to return to their Christian faith. Egypt's political 
and cultural leadership in the Arab League sets the pace for 
other Near East countries and restrictive trends may be noted 
at the present time in Syria, Iraq and Transjordan. 24 
It is highly unlikely that an Arab regime in Palestine would be 
more tolerant than the Governments of other Arab countries. 

Considered as an isolated case and treated in local terms, the 
problem of Jews and Arabs in Palestine seems insoluble. But, re- 
gardless of whether or not the Jews like it, Palestine has become 
part and parcel of the entire Middle East complex, and, regardless 
of whether or not the Arabs like it, Palestine Jewry has become part 
and parcel of the Middle Eastern picture. The realization of this 
elementary truth must be the point of departure for any attempt 
to find a way out of the Arab-Jewish controversy. Any lasting 
solution will have to be worked out within the frame of the Middle 
East as an entity. It must be a solution in the spirit of peace and 
cooperation, helpful to the common interests of the Middle East. 

The author submits that since no constructive and peaceable 
solution of the Palestine problem can be achieved by either a Jew- 
ish State with an Arab minority or an Arab State with a Jewish 
minority, and since no mass transfer of Palestine's 700,000 Jews to 
other countries is practicable, the only workable alternative remains 
an organized exchange of population between Palestine and the 
Arab States, involving the transfer to the independent Arab States, 
mainly to Iraq, of Palestine Arabs unwilling to live under a. Jew- 
ish regime, and the transfer to Palestine of the Jewish communities 
in the Arab countries. 

This scheme offers invaluable advantages to all the parties in- 

It is obvious that the present Palestine Arab leaders will never 
agree to any plan of this kind. Quite naturally, they think in short- 

R ft h V. 9, 

ioo Population Transfers in Asia 

range terms. They are, therefore, unable to consider without preju- 
dice any broad, constructive scheme of Arab-Jewish collaboration 
in which Palestine and they themselves are only one of the com- 
ponents. They are, also, too deeply and passionately engaged in the 
almost thirty year old Arab-Jewish quarrel over Palestine to be 
sufficiendy open-minded with respect to a plan which implies the 
surrender of their traditional intransigent policy of proclaiming 
Palestine a purely Arab land and refusing to compromise with 
Jewish claims. Every mention of eventual transfer of Palestine 
Arabs to other Arab countries arouses limitless indignation in them 
and seems to them a vicious attack upon the elementary rights, 
interests and dignity of the Palestine Arab population. 28 

Actually, this indignation is hardly justified. There is nothing 
unusual in the idea of Arabs moving from one area to another. 
Sir John Hope Simpson, who was Vice President of the League of 
Nations Refugee Settlement Committee at Athens from 1926 to 
1930 and who was then sent by the British Government to investi- 
gate possibilities of immigration, land setdement and development 
in Palestine, stated, in his very pro-Arab report, that the Palestinian 
fellah (Arab peasant) "is always migrating, even at the present 
time; he goes to any spot where he thinks he can find work; many 
have left the country altogether." 26 The easy mobility of the Arab 
population was pointed out also by W. G. A. Ormsby-Gore, British 
Secretary of State for the Colonies; in his testimony before the 
thirty-second (extraordinary) session of the Permanent Mandates 
Commission in July-August 1937, Mr. Ormsby-Gore recalled that 
"there had always been a certain amount of migration inside the 
Arab world; many people from Transjordan and even the Hauran 
had actually setded west of the Jordan in Palestine since the war." 27 
The British Colonial Secretary agreed that "if it were a case of 
moving the Arabs long distances to a strange country, transfer 
would indeed be difficult. But these people had not hitherto regard- 
ed themselves as 'Palestinians,' but as part of Syria as a whole, as 
a part of the Arab world. They would be going. . . to a people 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population ioi 
with the same language, the same civilization, the same religion, 
and therefore the problem of transfer geographically and practically 
was easier even than the interchanges of Greeks and Turks between 
Asia Minor and the Balkans... Not all the Arabs would wish 
to leave the Jewish State; some would realize that they would have 
opportunities in the Jewish State. But that some would want to 
leave on ground of sentiment, he equally had no doubt; and if 
homesteads were provided and land was prepared for their re- 
ception not too far from their existing homes, he was confident 
that many would make use of that opportunity. . . He believed that 
quite a number of Arabs, faced with the fait accompli of a Jewish 
State, would seek to leave that State for sentimental reasons rather 
than remain under a Jewish Government, and would seek to live- 
he was not sure that they would want to live under a mandatory 
Power— in an Arab atmosphere under an Arab Government with 
Arab ways of life. . . many Arabs in Palestine would prefer that 
solution, and still more Arabs would accept it as a fait accompli or 
some approach to a fait accompli." 2 * 

Submitting to this fait accompli would in no way affect the rights 
and interests of the prospective Arab transferees. In his "note of 
reservations" to the Report of the Woodhead Commission, Sir Ali- 
son Russel says: "It does not appear to me that to permit an Arab 
to sell his land for three or four times its value, and to go with the 
money to a different part of the Arab world where land is cheap, 
can be said to 'prejudice' his rights and position." 29 

Nor can it be said to be "humiliating" or derogatory to Arab 
national honor and dignity. The Royal Commission quoted the 
pattern of the Greek-Turkish transfer agreement— not an alto- 
gether appropriate example, since it came about under duress. 
There are more recent and appropriate patterns of population trans- 
fer which have been undertaken by sovereign states voluntarily and 
on their own initiative. The best example is the repatriation of 
Turkish populations from Rumania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia, 
which was carried on by the Kemalist Government after 1931.*° 


Population Transfers in Asia 

These Turks have, as stated by the Turkish Minister for the Interior 
Sukru Kaya Bey, "directly participated in the Turkish conquestj 
the last centuries; they have installed themselves in the conque 
regions and lived there for centuries as masters." This "mastc 
status does not exist any more. The Turks became minorities , 
states ruled by the local Christian populations, their former su 



Some 172,000 Turks were repatriated from various countries| 
during the period of 1 935-1 940 (interstate agreements were conclu*f 
ded by Turkey with Rumania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia in 1936-38); 
These Turks were resettled in the underpopulated districts of Turk-; 
ish Thrace and Anatolia. Their resetdement is generally considered^ 
to have been an extremely successful undertaking. A former A 
sistant Professor of Social Science at the International College 
Ismir, Donald Everest Webster, points out that the repatriates "hayel 
the vigor and ambition generally characteristic of migrants, so they| 
are making a genuine contribution to the country. Since theirj 
villages are newly built and much of their farm equipment is equals 
ly new, many of the settlements are practically modern villages.?* 

With regard to the transfer of Palestine Arabs, a significant edfejj 
torial was published on July 3, 1943 in Great Britain and the . 
usually considered an unofficial mouthpiece of the British Coloniali 
Office. Referring to King Ibn Saud's anti-Zionist declaration madc| 
to an American correspondent and later published in a Saudi Arab! 
ian newspaper, the editorial pointed out that the natural effect p 
the growing unification of the Arab States "will be that an Arab! 
moving from Syria to Saudi Arabia, or from Palestine to Iraq, wjl 
no longer be migrating from one country to another; he will me 
be changing his position from one part of the same country c .t 
another part — a proceeding that is not usually capable of being! 
magnified into a grievance. . . In his country he (King Ibn Saud)f 
has an exceedingly sparse population and is making slow headway! 
in his efforts to settle his followers on the land. In Palestine 
could find as many ready-made Arab settlers as he has suitabl 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 103 

accommodation for; or, if Wahabi tenets prove an obstacle, those 
I* who would not go to Saudi Arabia could find a warm welcome else- 
where in the Peninsula because none of the Arab States has as 
many inhabitants as it really needs for the proper development of 
the country." 

Thus, the influential British periodical clearly indicated that any 
scheme for transferring Arabs from Palestine would not be a local 
Palestine undertaking to be decided upon by the Palestine Arabs 
alone, but an enterprise of common interest to the Arab Middle 
East, on which the rulers of the independent Arab States are en- 
titled to have their say. A similar view was forcefully expressed 
in 193 1 by former First Lord of the British Admiralty Alfred 
Duff-Cooper, when advocating an Arab transfer from Palestine: 
"Talk not to the (Palestine) Arab Committee or to the Mufti, but 
to the important Arabs in the Hedjaz, Transjordania and Iraq; say 
to the Governments and Kings of these countries: 'This is what 
we propose to do.' They understand that language." 33 

Palestine Arab leaders could hardly oppose the transfer plan if 
it were endorsed by independent Arab countries as a part of an 
all-Arab development scheme. They have always claimed that Pal- 
estine Arabs are part and parcel of the Arab world; they have 
repeatedly appealed to the rulers of the independent Arab States 
for support and guidance and obediently followed instructions com- 
ing from that source. 

The ill-fated conference on Palestine called by Great Britain in 
the winter of 1938-1939 in St. James Palace was attended not only 
by Arab delegates from Palestine, but also by official representatives 
of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and Transjordan. Palestine 
Arab leaders hailed this participation of the Arab States in the dis- 
cussions concerning their political future, and thus freely conceded 
that these Arab States had as much say on the matter of Palestine 
as they themselves. With the formation of the Arab League in 
March, 1945, Palestine became a permanent and outstanding item 
on the League's agenda. In all deliberations of the United Nations 

104 Population Transfers in Asia 

on Palestine the six Arab States which were or became members- 
Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen— have acted as 
recognized spokesmen for the cause of the Palestine Arabs. When 
partition of Palestine was decided by the United Nations, they an- 
nounced their determination to fight the establishment of a Jewish 
State with all the means at their disposal, and this decision of theirs 
— and their subsequent military action — was gratefully accepted by 
the Palestine Arabs. Palestine has become a common Middle East 
cause in which the Arabs of Palestine are partners but by no means 
exclusive masters. 

Partnership in war presumes partnership in peacemaking. After 
having for over a decade requested and gladly accepted cooperation, 
help and leadership from the independent Arab States, Palestinian 
Arabs cannot now suddenly claim a change of heart and demand 
to be regarded as a completely separate and sovereign body which 
alone is competent to make decisions in matters involving not only 
Palestine but the rest of the Near and Middle East. 

"The key to the 'Near Eastern Question' is land," says Albert 
Viton. "In Europe the land problem means hunger for land— ab- 
sence of sufficient land to provide a decent living for all cultiva- 
tors. In the Near East, however, the land problem is one of too 
much land and not enough cultivators. Less than nine million 
human beings are spread over its quarter of a million square miles 
which contain some of the potentially most fertile land in the 
world. The area which, if fully developed, could support 300 to 400 
persons to the square mile, today has a population of 35 to the 
square mile." 84 

The following two tables give a picture of the classification of 
land in the Arab Middle East according to utilization and den- 
sity of rural population per square mile of cultivable land. 35 . 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 105 


Classification of Middle East Land according to Utilization, 1939 

(in square kilometers) 
















1 1,000 

















3, TOO 









a) Including the Alexandretta District; no separate figures are available as to 
the classification of land in that district. 

b) Although there are considerably higher estimates, a moderate figure has 
been inserted in the case of Palestine. 

Density of Rural Population per sq. km. of Cultivable Land, 1939 

Country Total Rural Total Area Cultivable Population 

Syria & 

Total Rural 

Population Population 
as of Dec. 31, 1939 

in 1000 
3,700 2,100 












in 1000 sq. 


per sq. %m„ 
cultivable area 





The area on which irrigated farming can be practised in the Arab 
Middle East (Syria, Palestine, Transjordan, Iraq) may thus be 
estimated at 67,600 square kilometers. Of this only 10,000 square 
kilometers are at present cultivated under irrigation, in many cases 
by primitive and wasteful methods. The average density of popula- 
tion per square kilometer of irrigable land should be about 200. If 
all the irrigable, but not yet irrigated, area of the four above men- 
tioned countries (57,500 is considered, there is room for an 
additional population of 1 1.5 million. If, for the purposes of a con- 
servative estimate, we assume that of the 57,500 square kilometers 
of Middle East irrigable but unirrigated land more than a third is 
worked under extensive cultivation and carries a population of 80 

io6 Population Transfers in Asia 

per square kilometer, the additional population figure might be 
computed at about ten million. 

On the other hand, it must be taken into consideration that of the 
unirrigablc but cultivable lands of the Middle East, a substantial 
part (some 125,000 sq. km.) is still uncultivated. Even with the 
lowest estimate and with a density figure of only 50 per square 
kilometer, the Middle East's unirrigable but cultivable land would 
provide room for an additional agricultural population of 16.25 mu * 
lion; together with the area of irrigation, the Middle East's capacity 
for additional peasant population may then be reckoned at approx- 
imately 16,000,000. W. C. Lowdermilk comes to the conclusion that 
modern and intensive methods of land cultivation applied through- 
out the Middle East might make it possible even for "twenty or 
thirty million people to live decent and prosperous lives where a 
few million now struggle for a bare existence." 36 

The development of irrigation is the cornerstone of the regener- 
ated Middle East. Its importance is illustrated not only by histori- 
cal records but also by the fact that today two-thirds of the total 
value of crops in five Middle East countries (Egypt, Iraq, Syria, 
Turkey and Palestine) are derived from irrigated lands which rep- 
resent only 9.6 per cent of the cultivable area, and 31.8 per cent of 
the actual cultivated area. Under Middle East climatic conditions, * 
crops three times as large are produced under irrigation as on unir- 
rigated land (1,800-2,000 kgs. of wheat per hectare, instead of 500^ 
900 kgs.). Nevertheless, of the total irrigable area of the five Middle 
East countries mentioned above — 124,000 sq. kms.— only a little 
more than one-third is at present under irrigation. 

The situation in Iraq, undoubtedly the center of gravity of the 
Arab Middle East, is particularly grave. Two-thirds of the country's 
cultivable area still lies fallow: of a potential cultivable area of about 
30,000,000 acres, only 9V2 million acres are at present worked. Only 
about one-third of the irrigable area of 20,000,000 acres is now under 
irrigation, for the most part of the most primitive nature. 

Irrigation possibilities have recendy been shown to exist even in 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 107 

what were formerly regarded as entirely unpromising areas. Fol- 
lowing the success of the Iraq Petroleum Company's water drill- 
ings during the construction of its oil pipeline, the Iraqi Govern- 
ment launched a successful scheme for the sinking of artesian wells 
in various desert localities; in many places this may entirely revolu- 
tionize the life of the desert. 

Intensive, irrigated agriculture alone can revitalize the Middle 
East. But intensive agriculture is impossible in sparsely populated 
areas. This brings us to another major problem of the Middle East 
today, for economic modernization and agricultural progress in 
Iraq, as well as in Syria and elsewhere, are distinctly hampered by 
scarcity of population. This was pointed out by Sir George 
Buchanan who during the first World War was President of the 
Directorate controlling the port of Basra and, later, President of the 
Committee of River Fleet and Marine Dockyard. Sir George ener- 
getically opposed ambitious irrigation schemes propagated by Sir 
William Willcocks 37 on the simple ground that it was useless to 
spend millions of pounds on irrigation if there were no people to 
farm the land when irrigated. He pointed out that in India and 
Egypt, where extensive irrigation works have been carried out, there 
has been a teeming population waiting to farm the land the moment 
water was available. The situation in Mesopotamia is quite differ- 
ent. "The. population of Egypt is 1,000 to the square mile (1,045 
per habitable square mile) and is increasing at a rate that promises 
to double the present figure within a century; the Indian Punjab 
has a population of 177 per square mile, and Bengal 540 per square 
mile, but in Mesopotamia there is a population of only 10 to the 
square mile." 38 

Buchanan is not alone in this pessimistic estimate. Colonel R. G. 
Garrow, Officiating Director of Irrigation, in a memorandum pre- 
sented to the D.Q.M.G., Baghdad, estimated that the existing popu- 
lation cultivated approximately 1,500,000 acres of land. 30 As late as 
1931, the British Government in a Special Report by His Majesty's 
Government to the Council of the League of Nations on the Pro- 

108 Population Transfers in Asia 

gress of Iraq (1920-31), stated that "the able-bodied male agricul- 
tural population of the country is less than five hundred thousand." 
W. C. Lowdermilk, who was present at the opening of the Kut 
Barrage, the first diversion dam built on the Tigris River, was told 
by Iraqi officials that there were not enough farmers in the country 
to make use of the water that could be diverted from this one 
dam. 40 Recently initiated irrigation schemes may bring another six 
to seven million acres under cultivation, in addition to about 5-3/5 
million acres now being farmed, but "the people are not there to do 
the farming on a peasant-holding basis," states an authoritative 
article on plans to modernize agriculture in Iraq and Persia. 41 This 
situation is just the opposite of that in Egypt where the population 
has increased by 25 per cent since the last war, while the cultivated 
area has increased only five per cent. 42 

Iraq's population is increasing at an exceedingly slow pace. It was 
returned as 2,849,282 in the census of 1920 and was given as 2,857,- 
077 by the census of 1942. Other estimates vary between 3,600,000 
for 1936, 43 3,500,000 for 1939, 44 3,700,000 for ic^o, 46 5,000,000 for 
1941, 46 and 4,500,000 for 1944-* 7 All these contradictory figures are 
open to question. Any marked increase in the population could 
hardly have failed to be noticed, and all the available evidence in- 
dicates that the natural increase of Iraq's population is either non- 
existent or infinitesimal. Dr. Ali Ghalib, Director of Preventive 
Medicine in Baghdad, acknowledged in 1944 that there is ground 
for the belief that Iraq's population has been very nearly stationary 
over the past twenty years; personally, he is "inclined to the view 
that there has been a certain increase in the population", but ad- 
mits that the prevalent trend is only "slightly favorable to. an in- 
creased population" and that the Iraqi authorities "do not exactly 
know what the trend is at the moment." 48 Another Arab authority, 
Hashim Jawad, who has since 1941 been the International 
Labor Office correspondent in Baghdad, reveals that "the average 
expectation of life in Iraq does not exceed 26 or 27 years . . . and 
the rate of increase in the population is extremely small . . . slightly 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 109 

more than 1 per cent per annum." 49 The Iraqi Ministry for Social 
Affairs informed the British goodwill Trade Mission to the Middle 
East (April-May 1946) that "about one-third of all the children born 
died in their first year, and another quarter up to their fifth year. 60 

There is no doubt that Iraq's present small population is an ob- 
stacle to the progress of the country. The British Government's 
Ten Years Report (1931) spoke of the "gravely insufficient agricul- 
tural population" which is a hindrance in the development of irri- 
gated farming, and added: "Real agricultural development in Iraq 
will come through an increase of agricultural population." Thir- 
teen years later, an Arab author acknowledged that "now Iraq is 
already short of agricultural labor, which is available only in ade- 
quate numbers and/or deficient in activity as a result of ill health." 61 
Hashim Jawad confirms that "many landlords . . . have been em- 
barassed by their inability to find farmers to cultivate their land" 
and that this "amounts to a gradual thinning down of the potential 
agricultural labor supply of the country." 52 

There is no use in increasing Iraq's irrigated area without a corre- 
sponding increase in the number of its inhabitants: under present 
circumstances this would merely lead to redistribution of the nu- 
merically insufficient population. 

The need for increased population as a pre-condition for progress 
in Iraq was insistently stressed as long ago as 1926 by Ja'far Pasha 
al Askari, then Prime Minister, in a paper prepared for the Royal 
Central Asian Society. Ja'far Pasha stated: "The size of the country 
is 150,000 sq. miles, which is about three times that of England and 
Wales, whilst the population is only three millions. We may start 
off by saying, therefore, that what Iraq wants above everything else 
is more population. This is a necessary condition of progress." 

This urgent appeal for more population remained unanswered. 
Where was additional population to come from? In an article, 
Iraq Today, published in the London Times (October 27, 1938) 
H. T. Montague Bell clearly stated: "Iraq's paramount requirement 
is an increase of population . . . The setdement of the nomads on 

110 Population Transfers in Asia 

the land may add to her wealth, but any substantial increase. of'fl 
population in the near future must come from outside." 

The possibilities of an influx of population "from outside" are, 
however, extremely limited. For reasons of climate it is practically 
out of the question for people from Europe to engage in agriculture 
in Iraq, to say nothing of the social and political problems involved 
in such settlement. Putting forward his grandiose irrigation 
scheme, Willcocks had a vision of "thousands and tens of thousands 
of industrious laborers from Kurdistan and the Persian Hills flock- 
ing to the delta of the Tigris." However, the late Miss Gertrude 
Bell, one of the best informed and most penetrating students of the 
Arab Middle East, had no illusions on the subject and pointed out 
the probability of permanent unrest attendant upon the introduc- 
tion of agricultural colonists who belonged to an alien and non- 
absorbable population. 

These apprehensions are undoubtedly well founded. The Kurds 
in Iraq number some half a million souls and constitute about 16 
per cent of the country's total population. The Kurd minority even 
today is too large and thorny a problem for the young state. Rela- 
tions between the warlike Kurds and the Arabs are extremely 
strained. Kurd nationalists envision the creation of an independent 
state stretching from Alexandretta on the Mediterranean to the 
north coast of the Persian Gulf and including a population vari- 
ously estimated at from seven to eleven million; many of them look 
to Soviet Russia for leadership. A mass influx of more Kurds would 
be too dangerous a venture for the ruling Arab majority and would 
certainly never be permitted. 

After the first World War Edwin Montague, then Secretary of 
State for India, had in mind a colonization program for Mesopota- 
mia which would provide an outlet for India's surplus population. In 
the early phase of the British occupation of Mesopotamia, a tend- 
ency towards the so-called "Indianization" of the country was very 
strong. Indian officials, currency and law were introduced. These 
attempts failed. The young Arab nationalists bitterly resented the 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population hi 

intrusion of alien elements and alien methods. One of the causes 
of the serious disturbance in 1920 was the "Indianization" system. 

It is, therefore, only in Arab immigration that the Iraqi Govern- 
ment is interested. Replying to a question by a Moslem journalist 
as to why Iraq did not raise cotton on the large area of its land 
suitable for that purpose, King Feisal said in 1927: ". . . we do not 
have peasants willing to work the land. The Bedouins, to whom I 
have alloted land for cultivation, are capable of disappearing over- 
night, even in time of most pressing seasonal work, because a rumor 
had reached them that it was raining somewhere in the desert, one 
hundred — two hundred miles away. I would welcome with great 
pleasure an immigration of Mohammedan Arab fellahin from Syria 
and, Palestine." 53 

In 1938, the Director General of Public Health of Iraq, Dr. Sami 
Sharokat, told the Pan-Arab Congress of Medicine in Cairo that 
Iraq possessed immense area of cultivable land which were not be- 
ing used because of lack of workers; and he invited the Govern- 
ment of Egypt to settle its unemployed in Iraq. Such a transfer of 
population, the speaker concluded, "would be to the mutual ad- 
vantage of both countries." This invitation remained unheeded. In 
spite of Egypt's dangerously increasing agricultural overpopulation, 
there is not the slightest sign of a noticeable emigration movement 
from the country. Should the Egyptian Government decide to 
initiate such a movement, the most natural and promising coloni- 
zation area would be the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, lying next door 
to Egypt and considered by the Government and the people to be 
indispensable to the Egyptian control of the Nile Valley. Accord- 
ing to W. Wendel Cleland of the American University in Cairo, 
"the unreclaimed areas of the Sudan alone might take a population 
equal to Egypt's present number and still have a density of less than 
one-tenth that of Egypt." 54 

Iraq cannot, therefore, look to Egypt for immigration. The most 
natural and, in fact, the only source of population for Iraq is Pale- 
stine. According to a well-informed author, the Iraqi Government, 

m Population Transfers in Asia 

shortly before World War II, sympathetically considered plans 
submitted by an American Jewish group for Palestine Arab agri- 
cultural immigration; negotiations over the materialization of such 
a project were interrupted by the outbreak of military operations. 65 
There is no reason why they should not be resumed now. Pale- 
stinian Arabs would constitute a valuable asset to Iraq's economy. 
Iraq needs agricultural settlers: in 1942, 763,394 Arabs, 67 per cent 
of the Arab population of Western Palestine, lived in rural com- 
munities. The area of cultivated land in Palestinian villages for 
which they would be compensated under a transfer agreement, 
amounts to 64 million dunams. The average price paid by Jews 
for the rural land they bought in Palestine during 1944 amounted 
to over $1000 per acre or about $250 per dunam (including the value 
of buildings, orchards and other improvements). 56 These prices 
are, of course, highly inflated; but, even assuming that under a fair 
transfer agreement only one-third of the 1944 rates would be paid 
for Arab land, the overall compensation would amount to over half 
a billion dollars. Besides, 16,926,000 dunams of land classified by 
the Palestine Government as uncultivable were owned in 1943 by 
Arabs in Western Palestine; 57 this area would also have to be com- 
pensated for. Some Arab immigrants would, moreover, be in pos- 
session of considerable amounts of money of their own. The de- 
posits in the Arab Bank (the larger of the two existing Arab banks 
in Palestine) increased from £370,000 in 1934 to £4,360,000 in 1944; 
besides, Arabs funds are undoubtedly deposited in non-Arab banks 
as well, and it is known that considerable sums of cash accumulated 
by Arabs are not deposited in banks but hoarded at home. 68 

The figures cited above refer to the entire Arab community of 
Western Palestine. They are, however, indicative of the Arab 
economy within Israel. 

Mass transfer of Palestine Arabs would decisively transform 
Iraq's economy. The vicious circle of land-irrigation-population, 
can be broken through its last link-population. But this can happen '■ 
only if the Middle East is considered as an economic entity, if -its 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 113 

population resources are utilized for the common benefit, and if 
dynamic planning courageously disregards existing conflicts and 
animosities. The possibility of such a course was indicated by the 
excellent work of the Middle East Supply Center during the war 
years. At the Conference on Middle East Agriculture Development 
held in Cairo in February, 1944, Keith A. H. Murray, the Center's 
Director of Food, said: "The agricultural problems of the Middle 
East demand not merely common knowledge, but also common 
action. The three main rivers of the Middle East pay no attention 
to political boundaries; animal and plant diseases disregard terri- 
torial frontiers. This is true also of marketing problems; common 
marketing intelligence and information, even common monetary 
units are possible achievements." 89 

This reasoning applies fully to the population problems of the 
Middle Eastern countries. Iraq's continued underpopulation which 
prevents full utilization of its land resources is obviously detri- 
mental to the prosperity of the entire Middle East. Tension over 
Palestine jeopardizes the political stability of the Middle Eastern 
land complex. The Arab States themselves, while still waging a 
relentless struggle against a Jewish State in Palestine, have begun 
to realize the organic place of Palestine in any regional develop- 
ment plan. When, in February 1948, the United Nations Economic 
and Social Council suggested the creation of an economic commis- 
sion to help develop the predominantly Arab Middle East, Dr. 
Charles Malik of Lebanon, President of the Council, stressed that 
Palestine must be considered an "integral part" of the Middle East, 
and Mahmoud Bey Fawzi of Egypt stated that an "indispensable 
prerequisite for the commission's success would be the maintenance 
of peace in the area." 60 

The transfer of Palestine Arabs to Iraq represents the main, but 
by no means the only aspect of the plan offered in this chapter. It 

JI4 Population Transfers in Asia 

would have its counterpart in a similar movement of Jewish min- 
orities from Arab-speaking countries, where their position is be- 
coming increasingly difficult, into Palestine. 

There are at present between 250 and 280 thousand Jews in the 
Arab Middle East (Iraq, Yemen and Aden, Egypt, Syria and 
Lebanon), and between 420 and 450 thousand in the Arabic-speak- 
ing countries of North Africa (Libya, Algeria, Tunis, French 
Morocco, Spanish Morocco and Tangier); besides, there are be- 
tween 160 and 180 thousand Jews in non-Arab Moslem countries 
(Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan). 

The historic position of the Jewish communities in these coun- 
tries in one of inferiority; of brief interludes of peace and prosper- 
ity alternating with periods of oppression. In modern times, mainly 
during the present century, the Jews of the Moslem lands have been 
given equal status before the law, but, in actuality, there is increas- 
ing governmental discrimination against them and dangerously 
growing religious and national intolerance among their neighbors. 
They live in a state of political and economic insecurity. Their 
precarious status drives them to seek foreign support. When they 
do so, they are branded as disloyal. Anti-Jewish outbreaks (in April 
194 1 in Iraq, in November 1945 in Egypt and Libya, in December 
1947 in Aden) though of relatively limited scope and infrequent 
occurrence, are a stern reminder of ever present danger. "Only in 
Poland and Germany," says Viton, "has the condition of the Jews 
been more deplorable than in these dark lands . . . The overwhelm- 
ing majority of the Jews, especially those to whom western educa- 
tion has given a sense of human dignity and self-respect, are des- 
perately eager to escape from the depressive atmosphere and are 
searching for a land where they can live as free men." 61 

The Jewish catastrophe in Europe has revived and intensified old 
fears. The attachment to Zion, deeply imbedded in religious tradi- 
tion, is re-vitalized by the message of Israel. It is particularly strong 
among the poorer classes and the youth. The emigration of Oriental 
Jews to Palestine has been continuous. In fact, a larger proportion 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 115 

of Oriental Jewry than of Jewish communities in the West, mi- 
grated to Palestine in the prewar period. Within the last few decades, 
Palestine has absorbed about one-half of Syrian Jewry and nearly 
40 per cent of the Jews of the Yemen. During the war, immigration 
from Turkey assumed considerable proportions, and as soon as 
North Africa was liberated, immigration from that region was re- 
sumed. Jews from Iraq and Iran have trekked on foot to Palestine, 
notwithstanding governmental repression. 

As a result of the growing anti-Zionist policy on the part of the 
Arab and Moslem states, the situation of the Jewish minorities in 
those countries is unbearable. They are considered and treated as 
hostages. Dr. Mohammed Hussein Heykal Pasha, chairman of the 
Egyptian delegation to the United Nations, told the Palestine Com- 
mittee of the United Nations General Assembly on November 24, 
1947 that the lives of 1,000,000 Jews in Moslem countries would be 
jeopardized by the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. A 
few hours later, Jamal el-Husseini, chairman of the delegation of 
the Palestine Arab Higher Committee, repeated much the same 
warning: "It must be remembered," he said, "that there are as many 
Jews in the Arab world as there are in Palestine whose positions, 
under such conditions, will become very precarious, even though 
the Arab states may do their best to save their skins. Governments, 
in general, have always been unable to prevent mob excitement and 
violence." 82 

The Jewish minorities in Arabic-speaking countries, in particular 
in Iraq, Yemen and Syria, are thus faced with a very real threat of 
physical extermination. Their speedy evacuation is a matter of 
utmost urgency. But this operation cannot be effected without the 
consent and co-operation of the respective Arab Governments, which 
is, in turn, unlikely unless the transfer of Jews is made part of a 
general Arab-Jewish scheme of exchange of population. Within 
such a scheme, the movement of Jews out of the Arab countries 
would represent a numerically smaller, but fundamentally essential, 
counterpart to the movement of Arabs from Palestine. 

"" Population Transfers in Asia 3j 

8. • ' ■ H 

The idea of an organized transfer of Palestinian Arabs to an Arab 
State is of recent origin. It was first formulated by the Anglo-Jewish 
writer and politician, Israel Zangwill. Writing in the League of 
Nations Journal (February, 1919), Zangwill proposed that the 
(then) 600,000 Arabs of Palestine "should be gradually and ami- 
cably transplanted to the Arab Kingdom, which is to be reestab- 
lished next door, and with which the Jewish State would cordially 
co-operate." Zangwill insisted that "two national homes (a Jewish 
and an Arab) in a country smaller than ranches have been in South 
America, constitute a greater impracticability than an Arab exodus," 
and that "a well-ordered emigration to a pre-arranged home amid 
one's kinsmen, with full compensation for values left behind a 
movement organized at either end, offers no terrors compared with 
the conflicts and race frictions it averts. 63 

Zangwill's idea elicited little sympathy in the early years of the 
Palestine experiment: that period was characterized by unlimited 
confidence in the possibility of an Arab-Jewish understanding based 
on the economic benefits accruing to the Arabs from Jewish coloni- 
zation. The first to revive the transfer concept-in a different form 
and limited scope-was, as has been pointed out, the Palestine 
Royal Commission. The Arabs dismissed the Commission's pro- 
posals without hesitation, and leading Jewish circles, regardless of 
party, also manifested marked coolness towards the idea. They 
made known their opposition to the "exercise of any degree of com- 
pulsion" which was hinted at by the Royal Commission. 6 * V. Jabot- 
msky, President of the New Zionist Organization, which was gen- 
erally considered as the most "extremist" Zionist body, categorically 
objected to the very idea of an Arab transfer. 65 

This attitude on the part of the Jews changed very little during 
and after the war. Though not rejecting the possibility that indi- 
vidual Arabs "may not wish to remain in a Jewish State" and stat- 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 117 
ing that "every facility will be given to them to transfer to one of 
the many and vast Arab countries," Dr. Weizmann, then President 
of the Jewish Agency and of the World Zionist Organization, only 
casually mentioned this eventuality in January, i942. ea David Ben- 
Gurion, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Jewish Agency, ad- 
mitted that Syria and Iraq "may have an interest, economically as 
well as politically, in strengthening their position vis-a-vis their Turk- 
ish and Persian neighbors by transferring new Arab settlers to their 
country, and the only source of such settlers is Palestine." He, how- 
ever, stressed that "this is a purely internal Arab problem, in which 
we [the Jews] may help if asked by the Arabs, but in which we 
neither can or ought to take any initiative. It is not a prerequisite 
condition for large-scale Jewish settlement." 67 A similar stand was 
taken by Mr. M. Shertok, then in charge of the political department 
of the Jewish Agency. 68 

The New Zionists seemed divided on the question. The con- 
vention of the New Zionist Organization of America in February, 
1942 declared that "should certain parts of the Arab population of 
Palestine not be willing to live in a Jewish State, opportunity should 
be given to them to have the choice of option for citizenship in an 
Arab state, and to transfer their domicile and wealth to that state; 
the transfer of those Arabs willing to be evacuated, shall be car- 
ried out in an organized manner, on the basis of agreement with 
the respective Arab states, with full compensation for the im- 
movable property left behind by them. 69 The London New Zionist 
organ, The Jewish Standard, on the contrary, sharply criticized the 
British Labor Party's transfer scheme, declaring that "to raise this 
issue now cannot but stir up prejudice against Zionism, giving a 
welcome propaganda slogan to the Arab potentates and their bus- 
iness partners abroad." 70 

Interestingly enough, it was non-Jewish scholars and politicians 
who first gave wholehearted support to the transfer idea. 

It was in November 1941 that Sir Norman Angell, the Nobel 
Peace Prize winner, advocated moving Palestine Arabs into other 

n8 Population Transfers in Asia 

Arab territory. "A plan must be initiated to help in the develop- 
ment of other Arab territories so that Arabs in Palestine might 
immigrate to purely Arab lands where their establishment would 
be encouraged." 71 Walter Clay Lowdermilk, formerly Assistant 
Chief of the Soil Conservation Service, United States Department 
of Agriculture, who made an extensive survey of the Near and 
Middle East in 1938-1939, also believes that Palestinian Arabs "could 
easily settle in the great alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates 
Valley where there is land enough for large numbers of emi- 
grants." 72 Hie Culbertson included in his much discussed blueprint 
for a World Federation plan the transfer of "a large part of the 
Mohammedan and Christian population of Palestine to another 
territory in the Middle East where equivalent or better land and 
living conditions shall be provided." 73 John Gunther saw the only 
way out of the Arab-Jewish conflict on Palestine in a kind of ex- 
change of populations: "The Arabs might conceivably go into 
Transjordania or Iraq, where there is plenty of room; Jews from 
Europe could come then to Palestine." 74 

The statement of policy on "International Post-War Settlement" 
prepared by the Executive of the British Labor Party, in its dis- 
cussion of Palestine advocated "a stable settlement for transfer of 
population": "Let the Arabs be encouraged to move out as the Jews 
move in. Let them be compensated handsomely for their land and 
let their settlement elsewhere be carefully organized and generous- 
ly financed." 75 A year later, the British Common Wealth Party 
passed a similar resolution. 76 

At the end of 1945, former President Herbert Hoover, himself an 
engineer and initiator of the monumental Boulder Dam, prepared 
a detailed memorandum on the solution of the Palestine problem by 
transfer of Palestinian Arabs to Iraq. Mr. Hoover suggested that 
the ancient Tigris-Euphrates system should be revived with inter- 
national financial aid to Iraq and that this great land development 
should then be used for the resettlement of Arabs from Palestine. A 
newspaper summary of his plan follows: 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 119 

"There is room for many more Arabs in such a development 
in" Iraq than the total of Arabs in Palestine", stated Mr. Hoover. 
"The soil is more fertile. They would be among their own race, 
which is Arab-speaking and Mohammedan. The Arab population 
of Palestine would be the gainers from better lands in exchange 
for their present holdings. Iraq would be the gainer, for it badly 
needs an agricultural population. 

"Today millions of people are being moved from one land to 
another. If the lands were organized and homes provided, this 
particular movement could be made the model migration of his- 
tory. It would be a solution by engineering instead of by 

As recently as 1947 the question of Arab transfer from Palestine 
was brought up in the British House of Commons by Mr. Anthony 
Eden, Foreign Minister in the Chamberlain and Churchill Cabinets 
and one of the first promoters of the Arab League. Pointing out 
"the inevitable difficulty which must arise from partition, whatever 
the final plan may be, because there must remain a large number of 
Arabs in the Jewish State and some Jews, at any rate, in the Arab 
State," Mr. Eden asked the present Foreign Secretary "whether he 
or the United Nations have given any consideration to a planned 
transfer of minorities." He reminded the House of the Royal Com- 
mission plan of 1937 and rightly stressed that "the difficulty of the 
Peel (Royal) Commission was that they were dealing only with 
Palestine and, therefore, they had the problem of whether there 
was room for the transfer of three hundred thousand Arabs to other 
lands in Palestine. I should have thought," said Mr. Eden, "that 
the question which now arises is whether, with the cooperation of 
the adjoining Arab states, room might not be found to absorb 
some part of the Arab minority which will be left in the Jewish 
State." 78 

The outbreak of open Arab-Jewish war which followed the 

120 Population Transfers in Asia . :\ 

United Nations resolution to partition Palestine and which was in-" 
tcnafied after the proclamation, on May 14, I94 8, of the State of 
Israel, has given a new and unexpected turn to the Arab problem in 
Palestine. Military successes of the Jewish armed forces during 
the period preceding the first truce worked out by Count Folkc 
Bernadotte on behalf of the United Nations (June 11, 1948), led to 
the occupation of the overwhelming majority of Arab villages with- 
in the boundaries of Israel as defined by the partition resolution, 
as well as of the towns of Haifa, Tiberias, Safad and Beisan which 
had a considerable Arab population; during the same period the 
Jewish armed forces captured Jaffa and Acre, outside Israeli ter- 
ritory When fighting was resumed on July 9, the Israeli Army suc- 
ceeded in capturing 494 square miles of new territory, including 
Arab towns of Lydda, Ramleh, Jenin and Nazareth, before a new 
truce was imposed ten days later by the United Nations. On the 
whole, of the 219 Arab villages in Israeli territory, 201 were oc- 
rupied by the Israel forces; outside Israel's boundaries 13 Arab 
towns and townlets and 112 villages were captured, 70 of them in 
the last ten days of fighting. 

These military events led to a mass flight of Arab civilians from 
Jewish-occupied areas to the Arab-occupied portions of Palestine 
and to the neighboring Arab states. 

Almost all Palestine's main urban centers were abandoned by 
their Arab residents. The first to move were the 6,000 Arabs of 
Tiberias who left in the direction of Nazareth and Transjordan T » 
Haifa Mowed next. By r p.m. on April 20, 6,000 Arabs were said 
to have left by sea, mainly to neighboring Acre, and it was estimated 
that 10,000 more left that same afternoon. The British Army had 
offered to find transportation for the departing Arabs. 80 On May 30, 
1948, the New Yor{ Times reported that "6,000 of the original 
40,000 Arabs were all that arc left in Haifa, although many are 
coming back." The evacuation of Jaffa was even more complete. 
On May 4, the New Yor\ Times reported that all but 10,000 bfl 
the 70,000 Jaffa Arabs had left the city; by May 30, the number of 














— I 























The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 121 
those remaining was reduced to 500. Thousands left by sea, while 
thousands of others fled inland, large numbers of them to become 
cave dwellers in the historic caves of Beit Jebrin, northwest of 
Hebron. 81 Kenneth Bilby, the Herald Tribune correspondent, saw 
on the road from Jaffa "scores of trucks jammed with women, chil- 
dren and old men and piled skyward with household belongings; 
along the roadside donkeys and camels struggling under moun- 
tainous loads were driven toward Lydda, twelve mUes east." Lydda 
had almost overnight became "the most populous Arab city of 
Palestine" as its population increased from 16,000 to 7o,ooo. 82 People 
with money headed for the Syrian and Lebanese borders, and some 
went as far as Egypt. Of the 6,400 Moslem and Christian Arabs 
in Safad, nearly 6,000 abandoned the town.* 3 From Jerusalem where 
fierce fighting was raging, wealthy Arabs fled to nearby Arab coun- 
tries, the poorer ones into the hills and villages. 8 * 

No less extensive was the evacuation of the Arab village popula- 
tion. Early in May, thousands of Arabs were reported trekking 
from the Jewish-dominated Sharon coastal plain to die Arab-con- 
trolled hill region; many of them sold their flocks and poultry to 
the Jews and left their unharvested crops behind. 86 In Upper 
Galilee all Arab villages astride the Tiberias-Rosh Pina road were 
evacuated. 86 Mrs. Golda Meyerson of the Provisional Government 
of Israel told this author on May 20, 1948, that by then 130-140 vil- 
lages had been abandoned by their Arab population. There was a 
notable exception in the case of the village of Abu Gosh, where the 
Arab peasants refused to quit and declared their readiness to live 
under the protection of the Jewish authorities. 87 

Late in May, the total number of Arabs who had left Jewish-oc- 
cupied areas of Palestine was estimated by Faris-el-Khouri, Syria's 
representative in the United Nations Security Council, at a quarter 
of a m.lli n. 88 Two months later, V. de St. Aubin, field repre- 
sentative of the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 
computed that the Palestine war had created about 300,000 Arab 
refugees. B . This figure has also been accepted by Arab spokesmen. 

I22 Population Transfers in Asia. -^^* 

Elias Sasson of the Israeli Foreign Ministry also admitted that about ®? 
300,000 Arabs had left the territory of IsraeL 80 This number does 
not, however, include those who fled from Jewish-occupied areas 
outside of Israel's boundaries. Thus, 70,000 Arabs left Jaffa; a Lon- 
don broadcast in Arabic reported on July 24, 1948, that 80,000 refu- 
gees from Ramleh and Lydda were registered in Transjordan (the 
town of Ramleh used to have 12,910 inhabitants, while the Ramleh 
district had 61,750) ; the population of Lydda increased from 20,000 
to about 70,000 due to the influx of refugees. Another Arab source 
spoke of 65,000 Arab refugees in Transjordan . 91 About 7,000 Arabs 
from Acre fled to the hills; numerous Arabs left Jenin (there used 
to be 4,150 Arabs in the town of Jenin and 51,880 in the whole 
Jenin district) and Nazareth (there previously were 6,290 Moslem 
and 9,250 Christian Arabs in the town of Nazareth and 21,850 
Arabs in the whole Nazareth district). 

In mid-October, 1948, Israeli military operations against Egyptian 
forces in the South were resumed and on October 21 the Israeli 
Army occupied Beersheba. On October 29, Israeli forces opened a 
counter-offensive against Arab forces in Northern Galilee, and by 
October 31 gained control of all Galilee, up to the borders of Syria 
and Lebanon. The Moslem Arab population of northern Galilee, 
numbering some 50,000 fled into the Lebanon, leaving only Chris- 
tian Arabs— approximately 3,000. Simultaneously, there was a mass 
flight of Arabs towards Transjordan from the whole Arab area 
south of Jerusalem. It was prompted by the Arab belief in the im- 
inence of Israeli operations to encircle Jerusalem from the north 
and the south and complete its occupation. Reports from Arab 
quarters also indicated a flight from Bethlehem and from the vil- 
lages in the hills of Hebron. At the end of November, Frederic 
Beard, Cairo representative of the United Nations Disaster Relief 
Organization, estimated that 130,000 additional Arabs had been 
made refugees as a result of the Israeli offensive. Finally, the Negev 
campaign which started on December 22, and threw the Egyptians 
out of most of their positions, caused a new wave of flight among 

Thb Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population ™ 

foLE; ° f " mm r f Afab rrfUg£eS iD E ^P^-heId area, A 
constable group £ refugees made their way almost all the way 
down to the Gulf of Aqaba above the Red Sea Y 

There ,s no precise data as to the total number of Arab refuses 
within and outside Palestine Tt, , retugees 

makes it Hiffl^T/ l***™' The ver V "Mure of the situation 

W tt! f am CXaCt figUreS - Thc refu * ees ™ «*«ant- 

cLT f ° nC Camp t0 aQOther > and overlapping of local 

usu^y highly unreliable u, Oriental countries where the tendency 
to exaggerate is inveterate. Available estimates vary greatly In 
August ,048 Arab refugees were estimated to total ££ n 
October, the Mediator, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, stated' ha 4 

Calol T J°: bOUt £ 500 ' 000 ' WhUe M ^- <*»* Hakim, Greek 
C hohc Archbishop of Galilee, put the number at 600,000 « The 

uZ *n W " T d 3gaia " N ° Vember ^ a Br * sh B^dier, 
LltydN. Clayton. In December Sir Rafael Cilento, Director of the 
United Nations Disaster Relief Organization, spoke of 7 00 

adllffr Wh ° ^ t0 ^ ^ * ^ <******; he, howe e" 
adm tted that some IO o,ooo of them "are not strictly refugees," bu 
P ople made indigent by warfare." As a matter of factf the pop 
ulauon of the Arab areas of Palestine has always included a col 
"derable group of destitute people, and it is not at all unlikely that 
many of the latter registered as "refugees." 

Speaking on November 22 , I94 8 before the United Nations Poli- 
£U Comrmttee in Pans, Mr. Henry Cattan, of the Arab Higher 

2ZT5 more ^ 75o ' oo ° Arabs had been ^ 

through Zionist terror and horror from their homeland and were 
now dependent on the mercies of others.- There is no evidence at 

of ZtTIT ^^ t 3TSC - The Dedarati0n of ^dependence 
the S ^.te of Israel, published on May i 4 , i 94 8 by the Jewish Pro- 

vzsional Government, assured "full social and political equality of all 

•<TT a t W u ° Ut diStinCti ° n ° f raCC ' Creed or sex " and «1W upon 
the Arab inhabitants of the State of I srae I to return to the ways of 

P«ce and play their part in the development of the state, with full 

12 . Population Transfers in Asia 

and equal citizenship and due representation in all bodies and insti- 
tutions, provisional or permanent." 99 Israeli sources contend that the 
Arab "Eight psychosis fostered by Arab military leaders at Haifa 
last April had a political purpose: to prove that Jews and Arabs 
could not live peaceably in one state. . . They did not anticipate that 
the Arab flight would develop into a maddened, uncontrollable 
stampede. Yet this is exacdy what their wild tales of 'Jewish 
butchery" brought about. The Haifa pattern was repeated at Jaffa, 
Tiberias, Safad, Ramleh, Lydda, New Jerusalem, and in over a 
hundred Arab villages." 96 Mr. Arthur Lourie, head of the Israeli 
United Nations Office, stressed that the evacuation of Arabs began 
at Tiberias as a "propaganda ruse" but that this backfired and that 
afterward the Arabs fled "in unreasoning panic" from Israeli 
troops. 97 The Israeli Foreign Minister, Moshe Shertok, declared 
that the Arabs "left in panic, aggravated by guilty conscience, in 
some cases stimulated by their British commanders." 98 
This analysis is largely substantiated by British, as well as Arab, 


According to the London Economist of October 2, 1948, "by far 
the most potent" of the factors which brought about the mass 
flight of the Arabs from Haifa was "the announcement made over 
the radio by the Arab Higher Executive, urging all Arabs in Haifa 
to quit ... it was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained 
in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as 
renegades." Official Palestine Arab spokesmen have, in fact, an- 
nounced that the mass self-evacuation of Palestine Arabs was under- 
taken on their own volition. At a meeting of the United Nations 
Security Council on April 23, 1948 Jamal Bey Husseini for the Arab 
Higher Committee said: "The Arabs would not submit to a truce 
... but they rather preferred to leave their homes in the town 
[Haifa} ... and leave the town, which they did." Again, in an 
interview with the Beirut Arabic newspaper Telegraph for Septem- 
ber 6, 1948, Emil Ghory, representative of the Arab Higher Com- 
mittee at the meetings of the General Assembly of the United 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 125 
Nations, stated: "The problem of the refugees is the direct result 
of the policy of resistance to partition and to establishment of the 
Israeli State. This policy was unanimously adopted by the Arab 
Government, and it is they who have to bear responsibility for the 
solution of the refugee problem." 

All the evidence seems to point to the fact that the mass exodus 
of the Arab population was deliberately stimulated to serve the 
political ends of the Arab leadership. The Arab masses were sub- 
jected to a heavy barrage of "atrocity propaganda" predicting their 
wholesale extermination by the advancing Jewish forces. They 
were exhorted to flee for their lives, even though they were not 
directly threatened. This propaganda met with an unexpected 
measure of success. A contagious mass panic seized one Arab com- 
munity after the other, and they began to flee in numbers far ex- 
ceeding the original intentions of their leaders. In an article in the 
London Daily Mail of August 12, 1948, Glubb Pasha, the British 
commander of the Arab Legion, sadly acknowledged: "The Arab 
civil population panicked and fled ignominously." A mass psycho- 
sis developed which resulted in the abandonment of Arab villages, 
frequently even before they were threatened by the progress of war. 

As a result of this momentous and unexpected development, the 
Arab minority in Israel was reduced to insignificance. In Novem- 
ber, 1948 only 60,000 Arabs, Moslem and Christian, remained in 
Israel and in the 320 Israeli-occupied Arab villages; this figure in- 
cluded some 15,000 Bedouins in the Negev area. On December 19, 
an official of the Israeli Ministry of Minorities revealed that many 
Arab refugees were infiltrating back to Israeli territory and that 
the number of Arabs had increased to 108,000— still no more than 
about one-quarter of the original Arab population." 

Mr. Moshe Shertok, the Israeli Foreign Minister, hardly exag- 
gerated when he described the Palestinian Arab exodus of 1948 as 
"one of those cataclysmic phenomena which, according to experi- 
ence of other countries, change the course of history." Mrs. Anne 
O'Hare McCormick aptly summed up the impact of the Arab 

126 Population Transfers in Asia 

exodus when she pointed out that "the fact that the development 
of the [Israeli] State is not complicated by the presence of a hostile 
minority is just a piece of unexpected good fortune." 


There is no firmly established data on the distribution of the 
Palestine Arab refugees in the neighboring Arab countries. Avail- 
able figures are contradictory and constantly shifting. 

On June 21, 1948 the Egyptian Justice Minister Mursi Badr de- 
clared in the Senate that 9,192 Palestinian refugees were in camps 
under Egyptian Government care. 101 However, since the over- 
whelming majority of those Palestinians who went to Egypt were 
wealthy people, it can be safely assumed that the 9,192 in camps 
constituted an insignificant fraction of the total number of Arab 
refugees in that country. Arab sources put the number of refugees 
in Transjordan at 65,000 to 80,000 (almost 20 per cent of the coun- 
try's total population). According to the April 24, 1948 edition of 
Al Amal, Maronite organ in Beirut, 23,000 Palestine Arabs entered 
Lebanon in the six month period ending April 15, 1948. It must, 
however, be taken into account that the influx of Arab refugees 
from Palestine started in the month of May when large-scale fight- 
ing led to Jewish occupation of Arab towns and vilages. An As- 
sociated Press dispatch from Beirut on July 8, 1948 reported that 
the number of Palestine refugees in Lebanon had reached 150,000, 
almost 13 per cent of the country's population. In Syria, it was 
stated by Sir Alexander Cadogan in the United Nations Security 
Council, there were 70,000 Palestine Arabs, and 5,000 women and 
children were en route to Iraq. 102 

Neighboring Arab countries are thus overloaded with Palestinian 
refugees, who impose a heavy burden on their precarious national 
economies. The conditions under which these refugees live are 
described as becoming increasingly unbearable. In a report pre- 
sented to Count Bernadotte on July 23, 1948, St. Aubin of the Red 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 127 
Cross states that "their present food and financial reserves either are 
exhausted or nearing exhaustion;" they are a strain on villages to 
which they were sent; many villages have been doubled in size. 
Housing conditions are bad and the danger of disease and epidem- 
ics is real. A few days later, King Abdullah sent a message to all 
Arab rulers describing the refugee problem as "dangerous" and ask- 
ing for their immediate help. 103 

The situation in Lebanon seemed even more serious. The Beirut 
newspaper, Al-Hadith, sharply criticized the Lebanese Government 
for admitting more refugees than it could handle and suggested 
that the other Arab states help care for the Arab DPs. Al Hoda, 
Arabic language daily appearing in Brooklyn, on June 16, r 94 8 
published the impressions of Rev. Joseph A wad, rector of the Mar- 
onite Church of St. Joseph in Waterville, Maine, who had recently 
returned from a visit to Lebanon and bitterly complained that the 
"Palestinian is eating our bread while our brethren starve. Lebanon 
distributes food supplies to the Palestinians out of the public rations, 
but Arab Syria refuses to sell Lebanon wheat to feed the Palestine 
refugees, unless she is paid in hard currency, which the Lebanese 
treasury does not possess." 

Aside from the burden of supporting tens of thousands of home- 
less people, the refugee problem has a special aspect in Lebanon: the 
influx of refugees, most of whom are Moslems, may in the long run 
upset the shaky balance between Christians and Moslems in Leban- 
on. Christian leaders have expressed alarm that this artificial in- 
crease of Moslems might wipe out the slender Christian majority in 
the country. 

There can be little doubt that none of the Arab States is in a 
position to give permanent shelter— not to speak of permanent re- 
settlement—to those who sought refuge there. 

The refugees are even worse off in those parts of Palestine which 
have remained under Arab control. Overcrowding is unbearable. 
Food supplies are inadequate. Arab administration, always poor 
and for many years almost exclusively maintained by British offi- 

I2 8 Population Transfers in Asia 

cials and Jewish funds, has broken down completely. Transporta- 
tion is disrupted. Fuel, tool and machine shortages are widespread. 
Medical and social services, always insufficient, have practically dis- 
appeared. Diseases are rampant. In addition to all this, relations 
between the local and the refugee Arabs are strained, and many 
clashes have been reported between them. There are many cases 
of attempted looting by refugees. 10 * A London broadcast in Arabic 
said, on July 25, 1948, that prices in Nablus had soared to fantastic 
heights as a result of the increasing number of Arab refugees in the 
town, and directed attention to the possibility of epidemics. United 
Nations medical observers advised the inoculation of the entire 
Arab population in Palestine. 

In a statement made on July 13, 1948 before the United Nations 
Security Council, Count Bernadotte insisted that "special attention 
ought to be given to ensuring the right to return to their homes of 
the substantial number of Arab refugees who fled from the Jewish- 
occupied areas because of war conditions." 105 One of the main con- 
ditions under which the Arab League States on July 18 gave their 
assent to the renewal of the truce in Palestine was the return of 
Arab refugees to their former homes. 

In the meantime, however, a significant shift occured in Israeli 
policy towards the Arabs who had left their residences in Israeli 
territory. In the first stages of the Palestine war, Jewish leaders 
made repeated appeals to their Arab neighbors to return to their 
homes and reclaim their property. But on June 20, 1948, Elias 
Sasson stated that the Government "had no alternative but to re- 
verse its policy" after five Arab armies had invaded Israel territory. 
"We never drove the Arabs out," he said. "They fled as part of a 
plan to create world sympathy and to provide an excuse for an 
invasion of Palestine. Now they have served their purpose and have 
become a heavy burden, so the Arab states are telling them to re- 
turn. They want to get rid of them, but we won't take them. If 
we did, we would have another 'liberation army' fighting in our 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 129 

The Jews, Mr. Sasson said, might decide to say to Arabs seeking 
to return: " 'You can come back to your homes as citizens of equal 
political and civil status, entitled to a full voice in our Government. 
First, however, you must sign a pledge of allegiance and loyalty to 
the State of Israel.' We shall be very careful of those we permit to 
come back," stressed Mr. Sasson. "In the future we don't want to 
be bothered by the local Arab troubles we have had in the past." 106 
This policy, tentatively outlined by Mr. Sasson, was soon officially 
endorsed by the Israeli Government. Late in July, when Count 
Bernadotte during his visit to the Israeli Foreign Minister pressed 
for the return of Arab refugees "on humanitarian grounds," Mr. 
Shertok, while conceding that there was a humanitarian element 
involved, insisted that for military, political and economic reasons 
the Israeli Government is not in a position, as long as a state of 
war exists, to readmit any substantial number of Arabs who fled 
their homes; to do so would virtually be inviting a "fifth column." 
The Government would discuss the plight of Arab refugees only 
when the Arab States will be ready to conclude a peace treaty with 
Israel; then this question will come up for constructive solution 
as part of the general settlement, which must take into account "the 
long range interests of Israeli and Arab population." 107 

A basic change took place, too, in the Israeli Government's atti- 
tude towards property abandoned by the Arab refugees. During the 
fighting and as a result of the mass flight, a great deal of Arab prop- 
erty fell into Jewish hands. Early in May, it was made clear by 
Jewish authorities that this property would be returned to the 
proper owners after the cessation of hostilities. A Jewish custodian 
of Arab property was chosen to be responsible for this. But later 
on, this property ceased to be considered inviolable. By November 
12, some 450,000 dunams (112,000 acres) of land abandoned by 
Arabs fleeing Palestine, had been turned over to Jews for cultiva- 
tion. 108 Under an agreement with the Government, the Jewish 
National Fund was granted priority in all purchases of unclaimed 
plots vacated by Arab refugees. Abandoned Arab dwellings have 

130 Population Transfers in Asia 

also not remained empty. By the end of January, 1949, over 68,000 
Jewish immigrants had been housed in the buildings evacuated by 
Arabs in Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Safad and other urban and rural dis- 
tricts. On December 12, a far-reaching ordinance was published in 
the Gazette Extraordinary, vesting in an administrator appointed 
by the Government all property, movable and immovable, in Israel 
or in Israel-occupied areas, belonging to, controlled by, or occupied 
by "absentees." 

On January 18, 1949, Anne 0*Hare McCormick described in the 
New Yorf^ Times how the Israeli Government was moving at top 
speed to repopulate the land left empty by the Arab exodus. "The 
shooting had hardly stopped in south Israel two weeks ago when 
bulldozers began clearing away a wrecked Arab village for the 
first of nine settlements. Seven were started last week in Galilee 
also on ground left behind by fleeing Arabs . . . The State of Israel 
is proceeding on the principle that possession is nine-tenths of the 
law. This means, obviously, that very few of the 750,000 refugees 
stranded in Arab Palestine and neighboring countries will ever 
return to their former abodes in Israeli territory." 

It can now be considered as established that the Israeli Govern- 
ment is firmly determined not to permit the wholesale and uncon- 
ditional return of former Arab residents and that the question of 
whether, to what extent and under what conditions they will event- 
ually be allowed to come back, will be discussed as an organic part 
of the future Arab-Jewish peace settlement. This setdement will 
have to include the plight of the Jewish minorities in the Arab 
countries. Israeli Premier David Ben Gurion categorically stated 
that "the ultimate position of the 300,000-odd Arab refugees from 
Palestine would depend on the treatment meted out to Jewish pop- 
ulations in the Arab lands." 109 Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe 
Shertok also emphatically stated that at the peace table "we 
shall certainly raise the question of the future of the Jewish com- 
munities in Arab lands ... It is not as if the State of Israel 
will seek to protect Jewish minorities permanently in all foreign 

The Case for Arab- Jewish Exchange of Population 131 

countries. We can protect only Israeli citizens, but our relations 
with the neighboring Arab states will certainly be partially condi- 
tioned by their treatment of their Jewish communities." 110 

There are unmistakable indications to the effect that the Israeli 
Government is now earnestly considering an Arab-Jewish exchange 
of population as the most thorough and constructive means of 
solving the problem of an Arab minority in the Jewish State and 
of the Jewish minorities in Arab lands. Upon his return from a 
visit to Tel Aviv, Arthur Lourie, head of the Israeli United Nations 
Office, stated at Lake Success that Israeli Government circles were 
discussing "a possible exchange of minorities between Israel and the 
Arab area of Palestine and were considering also the possibility 
that Jews living in Arab countries might be transferred to Israel." 111 
Isa Nakleh, representative of the Palestinian Arab Higher Com- 
mittee, immediately denounced "irresponsible talk regarding the 
possibility of an exchange of minorities between Israel and the Arab 
states, including the Arab area of Palestine." 112 However, Thomas 
J. Hamilton, the New Yor\ Times correspondent at the United 
Nations, stressed that "such an exchange [of population] has long 
been under discussion by delegations here [at Lake Success] , who 
believe that it offers the best hope for the establishment of friendly 
or at least correct relations between Israel and the surrounding 
Arab countries." He recalled that a similar exchange of minorities, 
executed by Greece and Turkey, "played an important part in 
establishing friendly relations between the two countries." 11 * 

In the light of the latest developments, exchange of minorities 
offers not only the most promising, but actually the only possible, 
solution of the Arab-Jewish deadlock. The question is no longer one 
of transferring a sedentary, deeply-rooted Arab population, of over- 
coming its natural inertia and unwillingness to move. We are faced 
with the hard reality of some 500,000 to 600,000 already displaced 
Palestinian Arabs. Their return to their former homes is barred by 
the Government of Israel for reasons of national security. More- 
over, their return, even if unopposed, would probably present con- 

132 Population Transfers in Asia 

siderable difficulties for most of the Arab refugees themselves, psy- 
chologically and politically, as well as economically. "Some of them 
have no homes to return to because their villages were leveled by 
themselves, by sabotage or by attacking forces," says Gene Currivan 
in the New Yor\ Times (July 25, 1948). Their economic reinte- 
gration, even their maintenance, would present at least as complex 
and difficult a problem as their resettlement in an Arab country. 
Fully realizing the magnitude of the task, Count Bernadotte, while 
pleading for the return of the Arab refugees, undertook "to enlist 
the aid of appropriate international organizations and agencies in 
the resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation [in Israel] 
of the returning refugees." 113 

It can hardly be doubted that this international effort would be 
much more constructive if directed toward transfer to, and resettle- 
ment in, an Arab country than toward a futile attempt at restoring 
the irreparably shattered Arab-Jewish balance in Palestine. "Neutral 
quarters" in Egypt state that among the Arab refugees themselves 
there is a marked reluctance to come back and that "most of them 
fear to return to Israeli-dominated areas." 116 There is every reason 
to believe that the uprooted Palestinian Arabs would be respon- 
sive to plans for their resettlement in Iraq, with full compensation 
by the State of Israel for property left behind. 

There should be even fewer difficulties in the case of the 90,000 
nomadic "Bedouins, cultivators and stock owners who seek grazing 
further afield in dry seasons," 119 who live on the territory of Israel. 
They have no attachment to any specific area and would pre- 
sumably migrate to any other Arab territory where large spaces 
for their camel and sheep herds are available. Their actual situation 
is desperate. When Palestine was a province of the Ottoman Em- 
pire, nomadic tribes were free to migrate from one part of the 
immense Arab territory to another; there was no scarcity in the 
choice of pastures when the old ones became exhausted. Now, 
numerous state frontiers have been erected, and there is no longer 
freedom of movement from Palestine to Syria, Iraq or Saudi Arabia. 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 133 

This confinement has led only partially to transition to a sedentary, 
agricultural way of life. The overwhelming majority of Bedouins 
arc simply starving and desperate. 

As regards Jewish minorities in the Arab states, it may be as- 
sumed that very few among them would prefer to remain. In a 
letter addressed on January 15, 1946, through the British Foreign 
Office, to the Anglo-American Inquiry Committee on Palestine, the 
Jews of Iraq stated that "if a plebiscite is made by you among the 
Iraqi Jews, you will find that 100 per cent of them are anxious to 
emigrate from Iraq to Palestine, and none of them desire to stay in 
Iraq." 117 Zakina Habib, president of the Jewish community of 
Tripoli, Libya, on May 13, 1946 told the New Yor\ Times corre- 
spondent that "because of economic distress and a feeling of inse- 
curity, the Jewish community has asked that a large number of its 
members be admitted to Palestine or in the United States . . . 
Tripolitanian Jews would prefer Palestine because they are a Medi- 
terranean people." Even more acute is the longing for Palestine 
among Yemenite Jews, while the emigration trend among the 
Jews of Egypt has been considerably strengthened in the last few 
years. The evacuation of Jewish communities from the Arab coun- 
tries is likely to be almost wholesale. 

The Jewish repatriates from Arab countries would represent a 
valuable asset to Palestine. The Yemenite Jews are hard-working, 
unpretentious people, mostly skilled craftsmen (silver and gold 
smiths, carpenters) and workers in iron foundries, cloth and soap 
factories. The Iraqi Jews were outstanding in organizing Iraq's 
international commercial relations and would bring with them ex- 
tensive knowledge of world markets; they are also relatively 
wealthy, some of them even very rich. Under an agreement with 
the Iraqi Government, their wealth could serve as partial compen- 
sation for the property left behind by Palestine Arabs. 

The working of the exchange scheme would present itself, in 
general lines, as follows: 

An interstate treaty on exchange of population would have to be 

*34 Population Transfers in Asia 

concluded between the Governments of the Jewish State and of 
Iraq, providing for the transfer of Palestine Arabs to Iraq and o£ 
Iraqi Jews to Palestine. Additional agreements could be concluded 
with the Governments of other Arab states for the transfer of their 
respective Jewish minorities to Palestine, with or without provision 
for an eventual transfer of those Palestine Arabs who for some rea- 
son would prefer to be resettled in an Arab country other than 
Iraq. The treaties would provide for a compulsory, but not all- 
inclusive, ethnic sorting-out, based on the principle of a reversed 
option clause as formulated in the concluding chapter of this au- 
thor's study, European Population Transfers 1939-1945 (pp. 477- 
478). As a rule, every Arab in the Jewish State and every Jew in 
Iraq or any other Arab country would be subject to transfer; no 
specific option to this effect would be expected or necessary. Those 
who would not ask explicidy to be exempted from resettlement 
would have to leave. Should individual members of the affected 
minority group be for some imperative reason determined to stay 
in the country of their present residence, every one of them would 
have to exercise the right of option in the reverse direction and 
make a definite "statement of intentions", pledging full and uncon- 
ditional allegiance to the state he decided to live in. In each indi- 
vidual case, the Government of the respective country would have 
the right to refuse the application if it considered the applicant dis- 
loyal or dangerous to the security of the state. Those who decided 
to stay and were permitted to do so would remain as individuals 
only, and would have to reconcile themselves to a status of civic 
equality, with the same rights and obligations as all other citizens, 
without any specific minority rights. 


Sir John Hope Simpson who possesses considerable experience 
in the field of interchange of population and who is rather critical 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 135 

of this method as a general solution of minority population prob- 
lems, has formulated the "conditions which might ensure suc- 
cess" of exchange of agricultural populations: 118 

There must on either side be willingness on the part of 
the States concerned to receive the immigrants in exchange 
for the minorities with which they wish to part. The numbers 
on either side must be approximately equal. There must be 
sufficient land on which to settle the immigrants, and land of 
the same type as that which they are leaving. There must be 
financial resources adequate for the expenses of settlement, 
and a competent staff to supervise and direct. If these condi- 
tions are present, it is possible that compulsory exchange may 
be the correct solution. 

The conditions for an Arab-Jewish exchange of population seem 
to meet most of the above requirements fully and to correspond at 
least partly to the others. 

There can hardly be any doubt as to the advantages which would 
accrue to the Iraqi Government from accepting Palestinian broth- 
ers in faith and race who would bring with them considerable 
means. Neither should there logically be any reluctance on the part 
of Arab Governments towards letting their Jewish minorities go. 
"Equality of numbers on either side" of the exchange is generally 
rare and of secondary importance; in this particular case it is of no 
importance whatsoever, since the prospective Palestine Arab trans- 
ferees in Iraq are to be resettled not on land vacated by Jewish evac- 
uees, but on. new soil gained by irrigation and reclamation. The 
amount of land available for resettlement would be practically inex- 
haustible in Iraq and sufficient in Palestine, where millions of du- 
nams would be left behind by the departing Arabs. Financial re- 
sources required for Arab resettlement in Iraq would be provided 
in the main by the compensation paid for the land vacated in Pales- 
tine. A competent staff for supervision and direction could certainly 
be found if the resettlement were organized with the cooperation of 
Jewish and international experts. 

136 Population Transfeks in Asia 

Like all other transfer schemes— and possibly to a higher degree 
than many of them— the project of an Arab-Jewish exchange of 
population is an arduous and trying proposition. No one should 
minimize the political, economic and above all psychological diffi- 
culties and hazards contingent on this course of action. But it is 
the only constructive, long-range solution. Other more orthodox 
solutions may appear "safer" and easier of attainment, but they are 
in reality no solutions at all. They lead nowhere. They will merely 
perpetuate and intensify old frictions. What is needed is a new, 
even revolutionary, approach. Such an approach would serve several 
purposes: it would eliminate the local Arab-Jewish conflict in Pale- 
stine; it would free the new Jewish State of a minority problem; it 
would make possible a new and better life for hundreds of thou- 
sands of Arab peasants in surroundings to which they could easily 
adjust themselves; it would— finally— inaugurate an era of Arab- 
Jewish cooperation and increased prosperity in the entire Middle 


Eastern Palestine, Transjordan, which originally was part of the man' 

dated territory of Palestine, was closed to Jews in September, 1922 and 

constituted as a separate Arab Kingdom in March, 1946 

Slias Sasson, expert on Arab affairs in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, 

insists that Jewish investigation of the Arab population of Palestine 

"completely disproved the entirely unfounded" British estimates, and 

that "the Arab population was never more than 800,000." (>Jeu> tor\ 

Herald Tribune, June 21, 1948) 

Palestine Royal Commission, Report Presented by the Secretary of State 

/or the Colonies to Parliament, July, 19J7, London 

Palestine Royal Commission, Report presented by the Secretary of 

State for the Colonies to Parliament, July, 19 J 7, London 

A more accurate computation by the so-called "Partition Commission" 

in 1938 put the respective numbers at 7,200 Jews in the Arab State 

and 294,700 Arabs (49 per cent of the population) in the Jewish State. 

Great Britain, Parliamentary Papers, Cmd. J854, pp. 48-51 

Parliamentary Debate*, House of Common*, July 20, 1937 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 137 

6. Parliamentary Debates. House of Lords. July 20, 1937 

7. Permanent Mandates Commission, Minute* of the Thirty-second (Ex- 
traordinary) Session, Geneva, 1937, p. 26 

8. Cmd 5634, January 4, 1938 

9. Cmd 5854, p.235 

10. Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, November 24, 1918 

11. Ibid., House of Lords, November 24, 1938 

12. Ibid., House of Commons, July 20, 1939 

13. As early as January 28, 1938, when a Jewish State in partitioned 
Palestine as proposed by the Royal Commission was still under dis- 
cussion, Nuri Pasha el-Said, then Iraq's Prime Minister, declared in 
the Manchester Guardian that should "anything untoward happen to 
a single Arab in the proposed Jewish State of Palestine, the lot of 
all Jews in Arabic-speaking countries, whether Egypt or the Yemen, 
would be very hard. . ." 

14. Parliamentary Debates, House of Lords, December 8, 1938 
IT. Ibid., House of Commons, May 23, 1939 

16. Permanent Mandates Commission, Minutes of the Thirty-sixth Session, 
Geneva, 1939, p.114 

17. Hew Tot\ Times, December 10, 1948 

18. Evidence Submitted to the Palestine Royal Commission by V. Jabotin- 
sJty. House of Lords, February 11, 1937, London, 1937, p. 40 

19. Parliamentary Debates, House of Lords, May 23, 1939 

20. Palestine Royal Commission, Minutes of Evidence. Testimony of th« 
Jerusalem ex-Mufti, Haj Amin Effendi El-Husseini, January 12, 1937. 
London, 1937, p.298 

21. Hew Tor\ Times, September 30, 1947 

22. Ibid., November 20. 1947 

23. Ibid.. January 1, 1948 

24. S.A. Morrison, The Condition and Tas\ of the Church in the Hear 
and Middle East (Stenciled report issued at the Assembly) 

25. See articles in the Al-Difa'a and Falastin of June 20, 1944, on the 
resolution of the British Labor Party favoring the Arab transfer from 

26. Report on Immigration, Land Settlement and. Development, by Sir 
John Hope Simpson (Cmd 3686), London, 1930, pp. 146-47 

27. Permanent Mandates Conmission, Minutes of the Thirty-second (Extra- 
ordinary) Session, p. 198 

28. Ibid., pp.189. 173, 177 

29. Cmd 5854. p. 257 

30. Schechtman, Joseph B., European Population Transfers, 1939-1945, 
New York, 1946, pp.488-490 

31. Angara, November 17, 1934 

138 Population Transfers in Asia 

J2. Donald Everest Webster.. The Turkey of Atatur\, Philadelphia, 193$, 
p. 274 

33. Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, July 20, 1939 

34. Albert Viton, An American Empire in Asia? New York, 1943, p.144 
3 J, Alfred Bonne, The Economic Development of the Middle Eat*, Jeru- 
salem, 1943, p.50 e 

36. Walter Clay Lowdermilk, Palestine — Land of Promise, New York, 
1943, p.69 

37. Sir W. Willcocks, The Irrigation of Mesopotamia, London, 1911 

38. Sir George Buchanan, The Tragedy of Mesopotamia, Edinburgh and 
London, 1938, p.247 

39. Correspondence Regarding Post'War Irrigation Policy in Mesopotamia, 
Baghdad, 1919, p.9 

40. Lowdermilk, op.cit„ p. 178 

41. D.H., "Food Production in Iraq and Persia. Plans to Modernize Agri- 
culture in The World Today," November, 1947, p.488 

42. Keith A.H. Murray (Director of Food, Middle East Supply Center), 
"The Common Wealth of the Middle East" in Middle East Supply 
Center, The Proceedings of the Conference on Middle East Agricultural 
Development. Cairo, 1944, p. 197 

43. Dr. Hans H. Boesch, "El-Iraq" in Economic Geography, Vol 15 No 4 
1939, p.342 

44. Bonne, op.cit, p, 8 

45. Tiew International Yearbook for 1943, p. 332 

46. Dr. Frit* Grobba, Iral^, Berlin, 1941, p.17 

47. W.D. Garbutt (Managing Director, Latifyah Estates, Iraq), "Large- 
Scale Production in the Middle Euphrates Zone" in Middle East Supply 
Center, op.cit., p.64 

48. Dr. Ali Ghalib, Malaria and Malaria in Iraq, Jerusalem, 1944, pp.39,49 
See also: Dr. Hashim Al Witry, Health Service in Iraq, Jerusalem, 1944 

49. Hashim Jawad, The Social Structure 0} Iraq, Jerusalem, 1945, pp.17-18 
JO. Quoted in The Jewish Standard, January 31, 1947. 

51. Dr. Ali Ghalib, op.cit., p. 41 

52. Hashim Jawad, op.ct't„ p. 22 

53. Quoted in: Eliahu Ben Horin, The Middle East. Crossroads of Hit' 
tory, New York, 1943, p. 224 

54. W. Wendel Cleland, "Population Plan for Egypt" in Demographic 
Studies of Selected Areas of Rapid Growth, New York, 1944, p.131 

If. Eliahu Ben Horin. op.ct't, p. 224 

5«. Robert R. Nathan, Oscar Gass, Daniel Creamer, Palestine: Problem 

and Promise. Washington, D.C., 1946, p. 188 
57. Ibid, p. 190 

The Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 139 

■»*. Z-Abramovite. "Wartime Development of Arab Economy in Pales- 
tine^ in The Paestine T«r Boo\. Vol I., Washington D.C., 1943. 

59. Middle East Supply Center, op.cit. p 199 

60. 7i ew Tor* Herald Tribune and Hew Tor^ Time.. February 12. 1948 

«f£ T*; P J M - S " ^ A HoUtani - Minority fa the Arab 
Worfd, London-New York-Toronto, 1947, pp. J6.39.104. 
62, J-lew Tor\ Times, November 25, 1947 

£: cm? wJffw' V °'" 0/ Jer " Mlem ' New York ' 1921, pp - 108 ' 109 

2 ^"^"S^^tham. Great Britain in PaJ e «m e , London, 1937, p. 240 

66. Ch. Weumann, 'Palestine's Role in the Solution of the Jewish Problem" 
in foreign Affair*, January 1942, p. 337 

67. David Ben-Gurion, Test of Fulfillment. New York 1943 „ 9 

68. Hamashkif, May 1?, 1944 ' 

69. Zioneu*. Hew TorJt, March 8, 1942 

70. Jewish Standard, April 28, 1944 

71. Jewish Telegraphic Agency Bulletin, November 17, 1941 

72. Walter Clay Lowdermilk, op.cit.. p. 178 

73. Elie Culbertson, The World Federation Plan. New York. 1943, p 93 

74. John Gunther, Inside Asia, New York and London, 1942, p J89 
British Labor Party, The International Postwar Settlement, p 7 
When the Labor Party came into power in 194)1, the Labor Government 
completely disregarded this official party statement. 

76. Jewish Standard. April 13, 194*. 

77. The Euening Star, Washington, December 13, 194*.— The American 
Zionist Emergency Council formulated its position in regard to Herbert 
Hoover's scheme in a carefully worded statement. Stating— "for the 
record"— that the Zionist Organisation "never advocated the transfer 
of Palestine s Arabs to Iraq or elsewhere", the Council said that "every 
man of good will. . .will welcome Mr. Hoover's plan as an expression of 
constructive statesmanship. When all the long accepted remedies seem 
to fail, it is time to consider new approaches. The Hoover plan cer- 
tainly represents a new approach, formulated by an unprejudiced mind 
well trained in statesmanship, relief and rehabilitation. .Should they (the 
Arabs) respond to the idea, w,e shall be happy to co-operate with the 
great powers and the Arabs in bringing about the materialisation of 
the Hoover plan." 

Khalil Totah, Executive Director of the Institute of Arab-American 
Affairs, in a letter to the Meu> Tor\ Times (December 24, 194J) 
without questioning the practicability of Mr. Hoover's plan, categorical- 
ly opposed a on "moral and religious" grounds. He insisted that "it 
is not a question of financing and of engineering; it is a human, moral 
and religious matter which cannot be viewed from mere technical consid- 


























Population Transfers in Asia 

ations. . . The crux of the matter is whether the Palestine Arabs wish ; 
to be transferred to Iraq or not. . . Even though the Arab countries 
are regarded as a unit, this is no excuse for packing a million Arabs 
from Palestine to Iraq in order to make room for further Zionist im- 

Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, December 1 1, 1947 
Hew Tor\ Times. April 20, 1948 
Haganah Speaks, May 1?, 1948 
Hew York Times, May 4, 1948 
New Tor^ Herald Tribune, May 4, 1948 
Haganah Speaks, May 15, 1948 
Hew York Times, May 4, 1948 
The Jewish Standard, May 7, 1948 
Haganah Speaks. May U, 1948 

Hew York Times, May 23, 1948 
Ibid., July 24, 1948 

Hew fork Herald Tribune, June 21, 1948 
Hew Yor\ Times. July 28, 1948 
Ibid., December 11, 1948 
Ibid., November 24 and December 23, 1948 
Palestine Post, November 23, 1948 
Hew York Herald Tribune, April 20, 1948 
Haganah Speaks, July 30, 1948 
Hew York Times. July 23, 1948 
Ibid., August 3, 1948 

Jewish Agency Digest of Press and Events, December 31, 1948 
Hew York Times. August 2, 1948, and January 17, 1949 
Ibid., June 22, 1948 

Hew York Herald Tribune, August 3, 1948 
Hew Yor\ Times. July 24 and 28, 1948 
The Hew Palestine. May 18, 1948 
Ibid., July 14. 1948 

New Tori^ Herald Tribune. June 21, 1948 
Hew for\ Times, July 30, August 2, 1948 
Jewish Telegraphic Agency Bulletin, November 14, 1948 
Hew Tor\ Times, July 22, 1948 
Ibid., July 23, 1948 






I 115. 


Thb Case for Arab-Jewish Exchange of Population 

Ibid., July 24, 1948 
Ibid.. July 11, 1948 
Ibid.. August 6, 1948 
Ibid., August 5, 1948 

Report to the General Assembly by the United Hations Special Com 
mittee on Palestine. Part 2. Boundaries 
Congrew Weekly, February 15, 1946 

Sir John Hope Simpson, "The Exchange of Population", in The Spec 
tator, December 5, 1941 

1 I ■!<,' 

142 Population Transfers in Asia 


«pa"tf r^dl 15 - glVCn , bdOW - ThC lfSt ° mitS «" ref «^ to 

ZZ !w IT aUth ° rS ^ dtIcS of *« ««« aPP«* in 
lulj in the text of footnotes. K ■ 


Al Witiy, Hashim, Dr., Health Service in Iraq ( Jerusalem 1Q4.H 
Ben-Gurion, David, Test of Fulfillment (New York l*m 

Bonn :Ci9^ E ~' v ^'^ " * *"* ** a«- 

^rdorrSf' ^ ^^ ° f M «°^™ C Edi ^ur g h and 
^ SZ cif Armentan , Pe ° ple > Memorandum to the United Na- 

?S G r' ^ l"™"* MUlhns C Lo ^n> 1939) 

tt; ***** *"~ *■*-* ^ * ^^ 

Colbertson Elie, The World Federation Plan (New York 194,1 
De Char, Somerset, The Golden Carpet (New York 1J45 >' 

DSm0 SZy ^^ ° f Sehcted A ' L * **» "(New York, 
Evidence Submitted to the Palestine Royal Commission h V lab., 

rS a. ^ ^ C "»"f«»w */ B*t; Jto » (Lahore 194^ 
So k D ' ?* ^r "' *** » M (Jeru Sen, 1944) 

Groba, Fritz, Dr., Irak (Berlin, 1941) 

Gunther, John, Inside Asia (New York and London, 1942). 

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!: I 

Ahmedia, a 

AIi, Chaudharry Rahmat, 4 
Alwar, 32 

Ambala Division, 17 
Amritsar, 8, n, i 2j 4 

Anglo-Amencan Committe of In- 
. <^»y. 92, 133 

Art ^ST* 10 V 04 - "?. "8 

Ar sSe n o?6r triotic sodefe > 

Armenian Ecclesiastical Congress, 

Armenian General n»„- 1 
Union, 67 B «ievolent 

Armenian National Committee, 

Arrnenian National Council of 

Amenca, 55, 56, 57, 61 67 68 

Armenian Repatriation Co^g 

Assyrian levies, 77 

A wad, Rev. Joseph, 127 

Ayyangar, N. Gopalswami 34 

Aziz, Mian Adbul, 43 

Badr, Mursi, 126 
Baliawalp ur , 32, 34 
Baluchistan 18, 32, 34 
tfeard, Frederic, 122 
Bedouins, 132, 133 


Beisan, 87 
Bell, Gertrude, Ho 
Bell, H. T. Montague, 109 
Ben-Gunon, David; H7, 130 
Benes, Eduard, 86 
Bengal, 6, 10, 19, 29, 31, 38, 43 
Bernadotte, Count Folke, 20 
126, 129, 132 

Bharatupur, 32' 

Bevin, Ernest, 57 

Bihar, 8, 29 

Bilby, Kenneth, 120 

Bombay, n 

British Guiana, 74 

British Labor Party, 117, 118 

Buchanan. Sir George, 107 • 

Bunche, Dr. Ralph J., 123 

Cadogan, Sir Alexander, 126 
Calcutta, 8, 10 

Canterbury, Archbishop of, 96 

Casur, 12 

Cattan, Henry, 123 

Cazalet, Captain, 91 

Chepurnykh, Szot I., 64 

Churchill, Winston, 88 

Cjlento, Sir Rafael, 123 

C ayton, Brigadier Lloyd, M 123 

Cleland, W. Wendel, lil ' 3 : 

Congress Party, 8 

Copts, 98 i 

Culbertson, Elie, lis J 

Currivan, Gene, 132 

Dacca, 10 

^ 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 35, 36 



DeWilde, James C, 1 
Duff-Cooper, Alfred, 91, 103 
Dufferin and Ava, Marquess of, 

Eden, Anthony, 119 
Egypt, ill, 126, 133 
Erevan, 58, 65, 66 
Erevan Committee, 58, 59, 66 

Fawzi, Mahmoud Bey, 113 
Feisal, King, 111 

Gatuvni, Rashid Ali al, 77 
Gandhi, Mohandas K., 21, 24, 40, 

Garrow, Col. R. G., 107 
George VI, Armenian Catholicos, 

57, 58, 68 
Ghab, 74, 75 
Ghalib, Dr. AH, 108 
Ghory, Emil, 97, 124 
Glubb, Brigadier, 76, 125 
Gosh, Abu, 121 
Great Britain, 3 
Greece, 37 
Greek-Turkish transfer agreement, 

Griffiths, Sir Percival, 44 
Gunther, John, 118 

Habbaniya Airfield, 77 

Habib, Zakina, 133 

Haifa, 120, 124 

Hakim, Msgr. George, 123 

Hamilton, Thomas J., 131 

Heykal, Dr. Mohammed Hussein, 

Pasha, 115 
Hindu Congress, 5, 6 
Hindu-Moslem Partition Council, 

Hoover, Herbert, 118, 119 

Hourani, A. H., 53, 60, 61 
Husseini, Jamal el, 97. U5, 124 

Ibn Saut>, 102, 103 
Indian Constituent Assembly, 31 
lndo-Pakistan population transfer, 

Ira<j, 106-113, 118, 119, 132-135 
Irrigation, 105, 106, 107 
Israel, State of, 95, 96, 120, 123, 
125, 126, 128, 132, 134 

JABOT1NSKY, V., 95, 116 

Jackobson, Sidney, 21 
Ja'far Pasha al Askari, 109 
Jaffa, 120, 121, 122, 124 
Jawad, Hashim, 108, 109 
Jerusalem, 86, 121, 122 
Jewish National Fund, 130 
Jewish State, 86, 87, 88, 91, 92, 

93,96,99, 101,115, 117 
Jews in Middle East, 114, 115, 

Jinnah, Mohammed Ali, 2, 3, 20, 

Johnson, Alvin, 95 

Kahn, Ljagat Ali, 23, 24, 29 
Kahn, Sir Mohammed Zafrulla, 

Karachi, 10, 11, 12, 37 
Khabur, 74, 75 
Khouri, Faris el, 121 
Kurds, 110 

Lahore, 8, 9, 11, 12, 21, 25, 37, 

Lakshmi, Pandit Mrs. Vijaya, 8 
Latakia, 74 

Lebanon, 122, 126, 127 
Lloyd George, David, 88 
Lourie, Arthur, 124, 130 

i 4 8 


Lowdermilk, W. C, 106, 108, 

Lyallpur, 13 
Lydda, 121, 122 

MacDonald, Malcolm, 93 94 
McCormick, Anne O'Hare, 125 

McNeil, Hector, 79 

Malik, Dr. Charles, 113 
Melchett, Lord, 88 
Meyerson, Mrs. Golda, 121 
Middle East Land areas, 105, 106 
Middle East Supply Center, 113 
Mohammad, Ghulam, 37 
Montague, Edwin, 110 
Montgomery, 13, 25 
Morrison, S. A., 98 
Moscow Conference of Foreign 

Ministers, 56 
Moslem League, 5, 7, 8, 43 
Mountbatten, Governor General 

Viscount, 22 
Mufti of Jerusalem, 97 
Murray, Keith A. H., 113 

Nakleh, Isa, 131 
Nansen, Fridtjof, 52 
. Negev, 122 
Nehru, Pandit Jawarharlal, 9, 16 

22-25, 29-31, 43 
Nehru, Mrs. Shrimati Ramesh- 

wari, 30 

Neog^K. C, 18,27,30,36,37 
New York Committee to Aid Re- 
patriation of Armenians, 64 
New Zionist Organization, 116, 

Noakali, 8 

North-West Frontier Province 7 
9, 16, 18, 22, 26, 32, 34, 46 ' 

OKHA, 11 -isj| 

Ormsby-Gort, W. G. A., 88, lOOl 

Orts, Chairman Permanent Man-' 

date Commission, 88 

Pakistan, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 16 
Palestine Arab Delegation, 97 
Palestine Arab State, 96, 97 98 
99 ' 

Palestine Arabs, 112, 133 

Palestine Conference ( 1938-391 

Pant, G. B., 43 
Parana, (Brazil), 74 
Partition Commission, 89, 90 91 

Parton, Margaret, 36 
Patel, Sardar Vallabhai, 10, 24 
Peel, Lord, 86 
Permanent Mandates Commission 

88, 89, 94 
"Pobeda" 62, 63 
Potsdam Conference, 56 
Pragouni, Mgrditch, 64 
Punjab, 2, 5, 6, 8 16, 18, 19, 22, 
f. 25, 26, 31-34, 36, 38, 39, 
40, 44 

Qadian, 11 

Radcliffe, Sir Cyril, 6 

Rahimtoola, Habib Irahim, 14, 17 

Rahman, Fazlur, 37 

Rawalpindi, 8 

Rees, Maj. Gen. T. W., 15, 19 

Rehabilitation -Finance Admini- 
stration, 35 

Rehabilitation and Development 
Board, 34 

Relief and Rehabiliation, Indian 
Ministry of, 16, 18, 27, 35, 36 



\. Rezaieh, 78 
"Rossia" 60, 64 
Roth, Andrew, 12 
Rothschild, James de, 88 
Rowlands, Sit Archibald, 26 
Royal Commission, 86-95, 97, 

101, 116, 119 
Russel, Sir Alison, 101 

Samuel, Viscount, 88 
Sasson, Elias, 122, 128, 129 
Sen, B. R., 42 
Setalvad, M. G, 44 
Sevres, Treaty of, 54 
Sharokat, Dr. Sami, 111 
Shertok, Moshe, 117, 124, 125, 

129, 130 
Shimun, Patriarch Mar Eshai, 78, 

79, 80 
Sikhs, 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 

20, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 39, 

40, 42 
Simpson, Sir John Hope, 100, 

134, 135 
Sind, 7, 18, 32, 34, 38, 44 
Singh, Master Tara, 7, 24 
Sinha, Bimal Chandra, 29 
Skeffington-Lodge, (British M.P.) 

Smiles, Sir Walter, 91 

Snell, Lord, 91 
St. Aubin, V. de, 121, 126 
Stafford, Lieut.-Col. A. H., 73 
Strabolgi, Lord, 88 
Suhrawardy, H. S., 10 
Sukru Kaya, Bey, 102 
Swinton, Viscount, 91 
Syria, 126, 127 

Tamils, 1 
Tashnags, 55 

Transjordan, 86, 122, 126 
"Transylvania" 60 
Tripoli, 133 

Trumbull, Robert, 5, 9, 21, 24, 36 
Turkish population, repatriation 
of, 101, 102 

United Nations Disaster Re- 
lief Organization, 122, 123 

United Nations Economic and 
Social Council, 113 

United Nations Palestine Partition 
Resolution, 85, 86, 91, 96 

United Nations Special Committee 
on Palestine, 92 

Vertanes, Rev., 59 
Viswanathan, V., 11 
Viton, Albert, 104, 114 

Webster, Donald Everest, 102 
Wedgwood, Colonel, 88 
Weizmann, Dr. Chaim, 117 
White Paper, British (1939) 96 
Willcocks, Sir William, 107, 110 
Wilson, Sir Arnold, 88, 94 
Winterton, Earl, 88 
Woodhead Commission — See Par- 
tition Commission 
World Council of Churches, As- 
sembly, 98 

Yemenite Jews, 133 

Zaheer, Ali Syed, 40 
Zanghanai, Col. Sarhang, 79 
Zangwill, Israel, 116